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Purple promise fills pantry

Students at Powell Valley Elementary School had a challenge this holiday season to collect more nonperishable food than their teachers.

If they won, their principal would color her hair bright purple. If they lost, they would spend 10 minutes cleaning the school together.

Wednesday afternoon, Principal Michele Cook fulfilled her promise after her students surpassed their teachers in collections, bringing in 1,800 pounds of food over three weeks for Sanctuary Church’s food pantry.

by: OUTLOOK PHOTO: JIM CLARK - Michele Cook, principal at Powell Valley Elementary, had never colored her hair before she went bright purple at a holiday assembly Wednesday. Left, Powell Valley Elementary students brought in 1,800 pounds of food for Sanctuary Church€sˇÃ„ôs food pantry, winning a competition for their principal to color her hair purple.

Behind the curtains of the Powell Valley stage, Parent Teacher Club members Amoreana Collins and Karin Mitchell sprayed Cook’s hair vibrant purple — a foray into hair color experimentation for a woman who’d never dyed her hair.

As students finished singing “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer,” Cook received her cue.

“We have to make a lot of noise to bring her out here!” Russ Baley, a parent and pastor of Sanctuary Church, told Powell Valley students on the other side of the curtain, gathered for a holiday assembly in the gym.

by: OUTLOOK PHOTO: JIM CLARK - Powell Valley Elementary students brought in 1,800 pounds of food for Sanctuary Church's food pantry, winning a competition for their principal to color her hair purple.

Cheers erupted from 450 students and staff as Cook peeked through the curtains, then stepped out and showed off her new ‘do.

Students pressed their hands to their mouths, laughed and smiled as Cook twirled around.

“Put your hand up, put it on your back and give yourself a pat on the back!” Cook told students.

The pantry

The Sanctuary Church food pantry began after the 2008 Thanksgiving holiday, when the church received increased requests for food assistance.

The pantry is open 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. the first and third Saturday of each month at 3101 S.E. Orient Drive, Gresham, for those in need of food assistance.

For those in need of immediate assistance, an electronic form is available under the Plug In section of ajesuscommunity.org. Call 503-663-9146 for more information.