Apr 12, 2018

Violet Fourth Grade Student Runs Fundraiser for Custodian

Photo of Carter Hutmire and his Mr. Eddie bracelets he sold to raise money

“How’s it going, Carter?” Head Custodian Eddie Figueroa asked with a big smile as students would exit cars and buses and head into Violet Elementary. Every day, Mr. Eddie welcomed students to school while helping at the parent drop-off line.

Carter Hutmire, a fourth grade student at Violet Elementary, described Mr. Eddie as one of his favorite employees at Violet. “He is always kind, helpful, caring and most importantly he is always funny” exclaims Carter. He liked working alongside Mr. Eddie at lunch time and helping with the trash cans.

After winter break, the Violet community was told that Mr. Eddie was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

Upon hearing the news, Carter sprang into action and knew something had to be done to support Mr. Eddie, “He was always kind, helpful, and caring. We should return the favor!”

Thus the idea was born. Carter drafted a proposal named “Team Eddie: No One Fights Alone” in order to sell bracelets to benefit Mr. Eddie. The eight-page proposal included an introduction, a timeline, goals and objectives, key personnel, endorsements, fundraising options and an appendix.

Carter began phase one of his plan by presenting the proposal to Violet Principal, Dee Copas. He even gathered over 50 signatures on a petition in support of his proposal. Once the proposal was approved, and with help from his parents, Crissie and Jason Hutmire, Carter purchased 600 purple bracelets that read, “Team Eddie, No One Fights Alone.”

Once the bracelets arrived, Carter began phase two of his proposal plan and sold bracelets whenever and wherever he could. He set up shop at the Violet front office, at PTO meetings, the Sweetheart Dance, and at the parent luncheon. In addition to selling bracelets, Carter would educate those around him about pancreatic cancer. With help from his family and friends, Carter worked around the clock for several weeks to sell all 600 bracelets.

Support and donations for Mr. Eddie continued and, in less than a month, all 600 bracelets were sold. Even after the bracelets sold out, donations continued.

“We never imagined within 20 days that we were going to sell out of 600 bands. It was pretty amazing,” said Carter’s mother, Crissie.

Upon hearing about Carter’s campaign, Mr. Eddie shared a note with him to be read on Violet’s morning announcements. “I’m deeply touched and my heart overflows with joy and kindness to hear what is being done to raise awareness for pancreatic cancer,” said Mr. Eddie. “I miss all of my Violet family.”

At the time, Mr. Eddie was not aware that Carter and the whole Violet community was raising money to help him fight pancreatic cancer.

Next, it was time for the third and final phrase of the proposal plan: present the donation to Mr. Eddie.

On Thursday, April 12, Violet held a school-wide assembly on Facebook Live to give Mr. Eddie the opportunity to participate. During the assembly, Carter, along with the entire school, presented Mr. Eddie with over $2,000 to support his battle against pancreatic cancer, a total almost 4 times Carter’s original goal.

After the donation amount was announced, students and staff at Violet erupted in a cheer for Mr. Eddie, “Team Eddie! Team Eddie! Team Eddie!”

Carter’s dream was simple. He wanted to help Mr. Eddie, someone who helped and impacted him everyday. With unwavering determination, a lot of hard work, and support from everyone around him, Carter far exceeded his goal and proved that, at Violet, no one fights alone.

The entire Pickerington Local School District would like to extend their well wishes to Mr. Eddie and his family. You are in our thoughts.