When Prairie Elementary principal Scott Merfen agreed to spend the night on the school’s roof if his students were able to get 600 people to register for September’s Prairie Pride 5K, he didn’t know he was going to have to do it on the first frosty night of the year.
But true to his word, Merfen and second grade teacher Tim Coleman braved the elements for more than twelve hours, heading to a rooftop tent above the school’s main entrance at 6 p.m. Friday and staying there until 8 a.m. Saturday.
“It got pretty frosty, no doubt about it,” Merfen said. “It was getting colder and colder until 1 or 2 in the morning. After that it leveled off. But, yeah, it was plenty cold.”
Kids and families walked by the school before dark Friday to wish Merfen and Coleman well (and confirm they were holding up their end of the bargain), with many bringing them rations.
“It was a lot of fun,” Merfen said. “We threw candy down to the kids, and a bunch of people brought us some snacks and chili. After that, we just laid down in our sleeping bags.”