October 26, 2013 in Washington Voices

EV’s Robinson tickled pink that students come through on challenge

By The Spokesman-Review
Colin Mulvany photoBuy this photo

East Valley High School teacher Robbie Robinson and his students recite the Pledge of Allegiance on Thursday. In support of national Breast Cancer Awareness month, Robinson dyed his hair, beard and eyebrows pink as part of a challenge to his students to donate 20 pounds of candy for the school’s Fall Festival on Wednesday. So far the students have donated 54 pounds of candy.
(Full-size photo)

Coming up

 East Valley High School’s Clubs and Activities will sponsor its annual Fall Festival Wednesday from 6 to 8 p.m. for children in the East Valley community.

 The evening will include carnival games, a haunted maze and candy donated by students and staff of the high school.

 The school’s honor society will collect donations for Second Harvest Food Bank.

 For more information, call the school at (509) 927-3200.

It’s not often a teacher can say he’s gone viral.

Since social studies teacher Dave “Robbie” Robinson at East Valley High School made a deal with with his students, he’s been pink. He has had a pink beard, mustache, hair and even pink eyebrows since Monday. The story got around.

He’s been interviewed by local television, the New York Daily News and Good Morning America. ABC’s George Stephanopoulos described him as “a pink Papa Smurf.” The Huffington Post called him the “coolest teacher ever.”

It all started when Robinson and his students were talking about how much candy they could collect for the school’s annual Fall Festival.

Around the same time, they had also had a discussion about some of the girls in class who had pink hair extensions for national Breast Cancer Awareness month.

Robinson said the students asked him if he would get hair extensions if they donated enough candy.

He said no, but he was willing to dye his beard pink if they brought in 20 pounds of candy. He said he would dye his head for 40 pounds.

By Oct. 18, the students collected 46 pounds and as of Thursday, they had 54 pounds.

“I’m a man of my word,” he said. On Monday, he came to school pink.

The pink is for breast cancer awareness. Robinson said his mother died of Hodgkin’s lymphoma when he was 34, and he was always hoping to find a way to bring awareness to cancer.

He turned to his wife, a beautician, for color help. She suggested he could use dye, but that would stay in his hair for 30 days.

They decided to spray it pink – a very shocking neon shade – which he’s been washing out after dinner each night.

When out in public, he said little kids get a kick out of the color. Most adults just go about their business, but once at the grocery store, the checker asked why. After he told her, she thanked him.

Robinson said he’d be open to another challenge.

“There would be a price,” he said.

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