Edmond Students Raising Money For School Janitor

Wednesday, January 21st 2015, 6:54 pm
By: News 9

School fundraisers traditionally center on electronics or playground equipment. But at one Edmond Elementary, students are using their spare change to change someone's life.

Every day for four years change has been a constant for a custodian at Centennial Elementary.

Whether it needs a mop, a broom, or even if it's a banana that needs to be peeled Mr. Duane is there.

"He's always right there when you need him," said Madison Suddock, a 5th grader at Centennial Elementary.

"I just have that drive to take care of people," said Mr. Duane, the Centennial Custodian.

But he doesn't show he cares with his help or his high fives, caring is just one of his key traits.

"I think it's an inward trait that I was born with to help people, to serve people. To help them have a better life," said Mr. Duane.

But now the staff, PTA, and Mr. Duane's 900 plus children want to care for him and change his life.

"He's dedicated his life for others and taking care of them. He's here every morning, last one to leave," said Lindsay Eberhardt with Centennial PTA.

See when Mr. Duane is on duty in a noisy cafeteria, to him the noise is nearly absent.

“I have 34% (hearing) in my right ear and I have 24 percent in this one," said Mr. Duane.

Mr. Duane's hearing is so poor only cochlear implants will help, which is where the school's annual fundraiser comes sweeping in.

"This is an actual person its life changing and it's our person," said Eberhardt.

So just how do the kids plan to change Mr. Duane's life? One coin at a time.

"I mean getting iPad is good but that's not going to change somebody's life. Getting to hear better that could change it," said Madison.

"I didn't understand why they would be doing this. Somebody would to that for me," said Mr. Duane.

So now the students have one week to raise $4,000 and change Mr. Duane's life and give him a fresh start.

"I'm grateful, how can you thank somebody for giving you something you never had,” said Mr. Duane.

Even if the students don't raise all the funds, the PTA plan's to cover what's left.

Mr. Duane's surgery is set for February 16.