Roseau High students in Warroad hockey jerseys? Yes, for a good cause
Students at both schools raised money for the Max Foundation, which strives for mental wellness among young people.
If you walked through the Roseau school Friday, you may have been doing double-takes all the way down the hall.
Roseau students decked out in Warroad hockey jerseys and t-shirts?
Staff members wearing their fierce rival's colors, black and yellow, instead of Roseau's green and white on a Friday, which is normally reserved for Ram pride?
Yes, it happened — for a good cause.
The student councils of both schools initiated a fundraiser for the Max Foundation, a Warroad-based charity that strives for mental wellness among young people. It is named after former Warroad hockey player Max Marvin.
The Max Foundation has been involved in bringing Project 11, a curriculum aimed at supporting mental health in children from an early age, to both schools.
The student-driven idea was simple. Each school would try to raise as much money as they could during the week. They dubbed it, 'Pack the Pig.' The runner-up would have to wear its rival's colors to school for a day.
At the end of the week, they counted up the money.
Roseau raised $9,783.31. Warroad raised $14,718.46. That's a total of $24,501.77, the largest single donation to the Max Foundation, which started in 2019.
"In the fight for mental health, there are no teams," said Izzy Marvin, Max's father and a board member with the foundation. "The issue has hit our towns hard. It has hit a lot of towns hard. No one is exempt from this. Everyone wonders what you can do to help, so it's an easy sell to get people on board, because it's affecting everyone.
"We've had total buy-in over (in Roseau). They're into this. From Tom Jerome, the student body, the principals and teachers. . . it has hit them, too."
So, on Friday, Roseau embraced it.
Former Roseau hockey player Tyler Landman, now a teacher at the school, got decked out in black and gold. Another former Ram hockey player and current teacher, Brady Johnson, dressed in Warroad gear from head to toe — all the way down to his socks.
Students walked around school and posed for photos in their Warroad apparel.
"It was definitely weird, because Fridays are usually Ram pride days and everyone wears green and white," Landman said. "There was a lot of black and gold. All the students and teachers really ponied up and did really well.
"To raise $25,000, that's pretty special. You pinch yourself about how much our two communities raised. It was a really fun competition and such a great cause. We've all been hurt by (suicide). People are hurt by that every year. The Max Foundation is really picking up in our communities. Bringing Project 11 to our schools is a really good deal."
Marvin said there were no large-sum donations.
"That was incredible to us," Marvin said. "Never in our wildest dreams did we think a bunch of kids would turn in those kind of results. It was really impressive."
Marvin said he appreciated what the communities were able to do together.
"As big of a rivalry as it is, we've got a lot of buddies over there," Marvin said. "It's super impressive how much they've all bought in and are spreading the word, trying to make a difference. There is no loser in this."