Farmington Hills principal sleeps on school roof after students hit lofty fundraising goal

Principal didn't think students could hit $20,000 goal

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. – Forest Elementary School Principal Steve Vercellino challenged his students to a fundraising goal he really didn't think they would achieve. 

They proved him wrong.

Vercellino said he would sleep on the roof of the school if they raised $20,000 during their Color Fun Run. They did it, and he slept in a tent on the roof Thursday night. 

The principal thought his sleeping on the roof idea would be more of an incentive to push the fundraising to $10,000 or something like that. But the students hit the $20,000 mark without hesitation. Vercellino knew the game was over when the students got within $500 of the lofty goal a few days ago. 

The money is going right back to the students. 

"The $20,000 comes right back to them for different programs we offer at our school. They even helped pay for new playground equipment, new technology, and they bought us over $10,000 worth of books ... it's a good cause, but I lost. They did it," he said. 

He was on the roof sleeping in a tent with a lamp and nightstand. He brought a space heater but he said he didn't really need it. 

Some students from the neighborhood were visiting him Thursday night. Vercellino said he got a couple hours of sleep. 

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About the Author:

Nick joined the Local 4 team in February of 2015. Prior to that he spent 6 years in Sacramento covering a long list of big stories including wildfires and earthquakes. Raised in Sterling Heights, he is no stranger to the deep history and pride Detroit has to offer.