East Aiken School of the Arts' annual PAWS versus CLAWS fundraiser left the principal in a chicken suit once again.
PAWS, which represents Clemson University, versus CLAWS, which is the University of South Carolina, is a friendly competition based on South Carolina’s in-state rivalry. East Aiken Principal Lisa Fallaw said the fundraiser began in 2012 as a PTO schoolwide service and learning project. It is held annually during American Education Week, which was last week, and raises funds to benefit the school's Angel Tree.
Fallaw said once the nominations from teachers are sent in, school counselor Meredith Cassels, takes over and works with the families on different things the kids want.
This year, PAWS versus CLAWS raised $2,574.81, becoming a record-breaking year for the school.
“With all the money we raise it stays right here at East Aiken and helps provide Christmas for some of our students," Fallaw said. "This year we are able to provide Christmas for 17 students.”
When PAWS (Clemson) wins the school, Cassels has to dress like a Tiger, but when CLAWS (South Carolina) wins, then Fallaw had to dress as a chicken. In the last 10 years, CLAWS has won every time.
“It’s been 10 years and Clemson hasn’t won yet; I guess I’ll keep being a chicken,” said Fallaw, who is a Clemson graduate. She can take comfort in the fact that her alma mater leads the all-time football series against USC, including the last six in a row.
The bigger lesson this event teaches the kids is “when you give, you help those in need and everybody wins,” Fallaw said.
“The most important thing is it’s teaching the kids generosity and about giving, every little bit helps and being kind," she said. "Our world needs a little more of that right now, especially with the pandemic that’s gone on. So it’s a light of hope and our way to give back.”