A pair of recent fundraisers at Sacred Heart of Jesus School in Baton Rouge brought in $2,326 for the Louisiana Kidney Foundation.

That cause was chosen in a show of support for fifth grade teacher Katie Simpson Leopold, who returned to teaching recently after donating a kidney (nicknamed "Beyoncé") to her sister Kelly Simpson.

The first fundraiser took the form of the school’s annual costumed Halloween Walk-A-Thon on Oct. 31. More money came on on Nov. 4 when faculty and students in all grades were invited to participate in a “green free dress” day for a $2 donation.

The "monsters of ceremony for the Halloween Walk-A-Thon were eighth-graders Lilla Aucoin, Whitney Bracken, Lucy Herasymiuk, Drew Ourso and Ethan Romero. Winners of the costume competition were:

  • Best Overall Costume: Seventh graders Noah Howell, Karson Johnson-Harris, Donovan McCormick and Dawson Stoeckle as the Mario gang.
  • Best Individual Costume: Eighth grader Declan Pickenheim as Guy Fieri.
  • Best Group Costume: Seventh graders Vera Barsotti, Macy Davis, Lilly Hetherington, Alyson Shipley and Alex Stewart as "Star Wars" characters.
  • Most Original Costume: Seventh graders Cecilia Bookman, Emmy Booksh, Jaelyn Jones and Mackenzie O’Brien, who collaborated to convey an anti-bullying "Words Hurt" message.
  • Most Creative Costume: Seventh grader Sophia Barber as the Morton Salt Girl.
  • Funniest Costume: Sixth graders Keegan Baker, Trey Coleman, Declan Egan, Alex Green, Drew Jackson, A.J. Jones and Kristopher Thomas as "Ghostbusters" characters.