Event featuring teachers crawling for cash prompts apology

Weird

Patrick Heyen, Memorial Middle School teacher, shovels dollar bills into his shirt on Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021, in the first-ever Dash For Cash between periods at the Sioux Falls Stampede game in Sioux Falls, S.D. The organizers of the fundraiser are apologizing after the event was criticized as demeaning. (Erin Woodiel/The Argus Leader via AP)

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — The organizers of a fundraiser that featured teachers on their hands and knees grabbing for dollar bills at a junior hockey league game in South Dakota are apologizing after the event drew criticism.

The “Dash For Cash” Saturday night in Sioux Falls was a competition in which 10 local teachers were selected to collect money for school projects. They had five minutes to collect as many of the 5,000 $1 bills that were spread out on carpet at center ice between periods at the Sioux Falls Stampede’s arena.

Critics on social media called the event demeaning. Loren Paul, president of the South Dakota Education Association, said it showed that the state needs to do better for its teachers and students when it comes to funding education.

“While the Dash for the Cash may have been well-intentioned, it only underscores the fact that educators don’t have the resources necessary to meet the needs of their students,” Paul said. “As a state, we shouldn’t be forcing teachers to crawl around on an ice rink to get the money they need to fund their classrooms.”

The Sioux Falls Stampede and CU Mortgage Direct, which donated the cash, together issued an apology Monday, the Argus Leader reported.

“Although our intent was to provide a positive and fun experience for teachers, we can see how it appears to be degrading and insulting towards the participating teachers and the teaching profession as a whole,” the apology stated.

In their apology, the Sioux Falls Stampede along with CU Mortgage Direct said they would be providing an additional $15,500 to area teachers.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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