BIGFORK – A Bigfork middle school teacher’s fundraiser has gone viral, raising almost $3,000 for Dream Adaptive.
Patrick Johnston says it started as a small GoFundMe campaign aimed at raising money in honor of his brother Kevin, who is disabled and confined to a wheelchair.
Dream Adaptive, based in Whitefish is an organization helping people like Kevin enjoy outdoor sports.
Johnston asked students to donate any small amount to his fundraiser, and as an incentive, he promised to shave his massive beard into a funny design in front of the entire school.
Students chose the funny design by “voting” in the form of donations and in just one week, the school raised over $800.
“It brought my mom to tears, none of us can expect or believe how and when we got to this point,” Johnston said. “I’ve been calling them every day saying ‘you’ll never believe what we got today’, or ‘we got another hundred dollars.’
“And then, last night we had an anonymous person on GoFundMe gave $600. I called my parents, it was midnight their time, and I just said ‘you’re never going to believe this’,” he added.
Dream adaptive told MTN News, “we are moved by Patrick’s devotion to his brother, and his desire to help others in such a creative and engaging way. We can’t thank him enough.”
Johnston said he’s not sure how long he’ll keep his new beard, but students are hoping he’ll keep it until spring break.
Reporting by Maren Siu for MTN News