SMES third grader Emma Pratt reacts after hitting her principal, Chris Hollingsworth, with a pie. (Livermore Falls Advertiser photo by Pam Harnden)

JAY — Spruce Mountain Elementary School Prinicipal Chris Hollingsworth goes all out with his support of United Way of the Tri-Valley Area.

On Feb. 27 he donned a rain poncho and ski goggles, sat in a chair in the school’s cafeteria and joked with students and staff as he had about 90 ‘pies’ thrown at him. Students paid $5 and staff $10 to throw a paper plate covered with whipped cream at his face.

At separate times throughout the day, the third, fourth and fifth grades each had their chance to nail Hollingworth with pies. Almost $900 was raised for UWTVA from the pie tosses.

SMES is participating again in UWTVA’s Community Change Challenge. Last year the school raised the most money among smaller businesses and organizations. Hollingsworth said when accepting the trophy he hoped the school could raise the most money during the next challenge.

“We were in first place overall with $1,200 on Feb. 15. Verso was in second with $1,100 then. With vacation, Verso is

Spruce Mountain Elementary School third grade teachers from left Susan Boothby, Ashlee Giroux, Amanda Hinkley and Carrie Mitchell react after throwing pies at principal Chris Hollingsworth. Almost $900 was raised for United Way of the Tri-Valley area through the event. (Livermore Falls Advertiser photo by Pam Harnden)

back ahead now,” Hollingsworth said Wednesday morning. “We have a total of $1,240 without this week figured in.”

Oakhurst, which supplies the school with milk, provided the whipped cream used in the fundraiser at cost. 48 cans were used.

“We couldn’t have done this without their support,” Hollingsworth said.

He told the students they could eat a little bit of the pie if they wanted. He hoped they didn’t have good aim.

Students in each class, who had paid to throw a pie, were called to collect a plate and stand in line behind an orange tape stuck to the floor. The tape was a few feet from where Hollingsworth sat.

From left SMES third graders Madison Korhonen, Blake Marcotte and Elyssa Yanelli wait for their chance to throw a pie at their principal Chris Hollingsworth. (Livermore Falls Advertiser photo by Pam Harnden)

One by one, each student threw a pie. Most of the pies found some part of Hollingsworth’s body, although a few did sail over or past his head.

Several times Hollingsworth had to wipe a thick layer of cream from the goggles so he could see. Sometimes he thrust his arms in front of him and asked if there was anyone else waiting their turn.

A large pool of cream collected at his feet where it dripped off the poncho. Splatters of cream covered the floor and walls behind him.

“Mrs. Gilbert’s class may want to start a baseball team,” Hollingsworth said after almost every student connected.

SMES secretary Rebecca Spencer said Regional School Unit 73 board member Doug DiPasquale would be coming in when the fifth grade had their turn later that afternoon.

DiPasquale is also involved with Verso Community Challenge efforts.

“I’m competing with Verso, so I’m also competing against him (Hollingsworth). It’s all about getting more money for the community,” DiPasquale said recently.

In Nov. 2017 Hollingsworth and staff member Pat St. Clair took turns in a dunk tank to raise money for UWTVA.

[email protected]