BEEKMANTOWN - Often times people associate "getting sent to the dog house" as being a bad thing. But, for Beekmantown Middle School, it's actually a good thing.
On Jan. 29, guidance counselor William King spent the night in a dog house - with his basset hound, Dunkin.
King was approached by his colleague, fellow guidance counselor Susan Broadwell, to see if he would spend the night in a dog house as an incentive for students in grades six through eight to raise money for the Adirondack Humane Society.
"I just looked at her and said, 'Oh, you would come up with this,'" King laughed.
Students began raising money in October and by the end of December had already reached their goal of $500.
"When I first talked to Susan, she said they thought it was a really ambitious goal and they thought that they might not get there," said Adirondack Humane Society treasurer Lillian Cassidy, who received the check at the beginning of January.
Principal Sue Coonrod explained, "There was a lot going on. We always adopt families at Christmas time; we give to the food shelf at Thanksgiving. So, there are lots of different things that we do."
The plan for the money, explained Cassidy, is to use it for the animals at the shelter to be spayed or neutered.
"We were all very pleased that they were willing to do it and it was for such a great cause," Cassidy added.
"Every year, students choose an organization to donate money to, and the Humane Society was what they decided on," said Coonrod.
"We try to choose something that we can get together on as a team, a school, and feel pride in."
King couldn't agree more.
"I think it's great," he said. "We have a great school. Students here are wonderful. And, they are very caring. Times are pretty hard right now as far as money is concerned. For them to be able to pull that off is a pretty good feat.
Students raised the total of $516 through various means. King explained students bought dog bones for each other, which were actually fruit roll-ups tied to a dog bone made out of paper. They also had a canned food drive where each grade competed to raise the most cans, and whichever class did, a certain amount of money was donated.
"A lot of the money came from that," King said.
Because the students did so well raising money, King spent a cramped, restless night sleeping in the school in a dog house created for him by Coonrod.
"A couple of office furniture boxes and some paper and glue and voila," King exclaimed.
How can it be proved King actually spent the night in the school? He woke periodically throughout the night to trigger the school's surveillance cameras - which are motion-sensitive - using them to document the date and time during his sleepover.
"I thought it was awesome," said Cassidy of King spending the night. "He's such a good sport. He was very instrumental in doing this. So, it's cool."
In the end, King felt the most important thing was that money was raised for the Humane Society.
"Lots of wonderful, beautiful dogs and cats ... need homes and just need somebody to love," he said. "So, if [people] have the opportunity and can do it, then they should consider adopting a pet. And the Humane Society is wonderful to deal with."