In honor of their principal, Arcadia Elementary School students raise money for Parkinson’s disease research

ARCADIA, Wis. (WKBT) – Arcadia elementary students did something extra special for their principal.

Principal Paul Halverson has Parkinson’s disease and is preparing for brain surgery in May.

To help raise awareness about the disease, he put students up to a challenge.

If they raised money for Parkinson’s research, students, teachers, and staff could help him shave off his head Friday afternoon.

They didn’t hesitate, starting a “Coins for Caring” fundraiser, in addition to selling more than 500 T-shirts.

Thanks to the community’s generosity, Associate Principal Tony Hart said the students raised over $5,000!

The money is being donated to the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s research in honor of Halverson.

He said their support means everything to him.

“Just reading these notes (students wrote), they are staying positive. Kids are resilient. They are telling me not to worry, everything is going to be fine. They are rallying and that positive support inspires me,” Halverson said Friday.

He was diagnosed six years ago but said his symptoms have been getting progressively worse.

He’ll be spending the rest of the school year recovering.