Students at Mars Centennial School apply wrapping paper Friday to Principal Todd Lape during the “Gift Wrap Your Principal” fundraiser. The event, by fifth and sixth graders at the school, raised $1,300 for Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.
Principal does part for charity ADAMS TWP — Mars Centennial School Principal Todd Lape has $1,300 to donate to Children’s Hospital, and a new respect for the Pirate Parrot’s hot and sweaty travails inside his costume. On Friday, Lape was twice covered in 1,300 sheets of holiday wrapping paper, which encased him in a festive cocoon from head to toe. “Man, it was hot in there,” Lape said soon after escaping from the first wrap job. The “Gift Wrap Your Principal” event involved Centennial School students lining up in the gym to receive a one-square-foot sheet of wrapping paper for each dollar they donated to the UPMC-Children’s Hospital Free Care Fund over the past few weeks. The sixth-graders were the first to have a crack at Lape, who gamely stood still as students taped their paper to him one by one. In addition to the full-body wrap, Lape ended up with a long tie and cape, courtesy of some sixth-grade ingenuity. Some would wonder how his head was wrapped when the administrator stands well over six feet tall. “We’ve got some big sixth-graders,” said Lape as he wiped his forehead. Fifth graders lined up an hour later to get their sheets of wrapping paper, and they too went to town on their principal. “They just sort of ganged up on me and started wrapping,” Lape said. Bella Fratto said she was apportioned five sheets of paper. “It was fun, but it was a little weird,” she admitted. Michael Crowley got four sheets. He appreciated Lape’s willingness to suffer for a good cause. “I really like Mr. Lape,” said Michael. “He’s a really good principal and he’s also a very good example for students.” Nicholas Valenta said while he appreciated Lape’s dedication, he just couldn’t bring himself to slap the paper on a leader he respects. “I gave my paper to someone else,” Nicholas said. “I think he was a really good sport, but for me, I just couldn’t do it.” Hannah Peacock said she thought of the kids at Children’s Hospital as she grabbed the tape to wrap up Lape. “It’s great to help the kids who need money for their illnesses,” Hannah said. “Otherwise, they might not get the right treatment.” She was amazed that Lape agreed to the high jinks. “I think it was really nice of him to even think about doing this,” she said. Lape brushed off the event with his usual good humor, giving the credit to the students and families who donated.