Cows roamed the Stoughton High football field this past Saturday afternoon, with dozens of onlookers waiting with anticipation to see when - and where - one of the cows would defecate on the field.
It was all part of a game of "Cow Pie Bingo," a Stoughton High senior class fundraiser.
Four cows from the Massachusetts 4-H Animal Science Program were brought to the football field, which was gridded off like a bingo board. Squares were sold for $30 each. If one of the cows did their "business" in your square, you got bingo.
Faced with new nutrition guidelines this school year which ban the sale of candy for student fundraisers, clubs and sports teams have been thinking outside the box for ways to raise money, and the Stoughton High Class of 2013 is no different.
"It has made us be more creative," Class of 2013 co-advisor Kathleen Rahaman said.
The SHS senior class has done flamingo flocking and run a dunk tank at the football team's home opener. This latest creative fundraiser took place Nov. 24.
Class of 2013 co-advisor Tim Norton had seen this type of Cow Pie Bingo fundraiser before, thought it was a great idea, but - out of sight, out of mind - had forgotten about it, he said. A conversation with Superintendent of Schools Dr. Marguerite Rizzi and Deputy Superintendent Jonathan Ford sparked his memory.
"I was talking to Dr. Rizzi and Mr. Ford in the superintendent's office about how it's going to be hard to fundraise this year and how we're going to have to raise a lot of money and they said Hull used to do [Cow Pie Bingo]," Norton said.
And so Norton helped bring it back to Stoughton (the event had been held at Stoughton High once before in 1990).
The senior class sold 330 squares this time around, Norton said. In addition to the Cow Pie Bingo, the concession stand was open and there were a variety of activities for children.
Seniors Dan Block, Cameron Ramos and Emma Zuk served as emcees, providing commentary and cracking cow jokes from the press box above the football field. They were joined by other SHS senior volunteers to help make the event a success.
"There was a great turnout," Rahaman said. "We're hoping next year if we do it again that more people will come out and more people will buy squares because the more squares they buy, the more fun it is."
Maybe they were shy about going in public, but it took a little bit before the cows made bingo.
Eventually, Tim Eckhart and his son, Will, won the grand prize of $1,000 with Charlie the cow leaving a gift in square N-1. Charlene LaFerriere and her daughter, Kelsie, a senior at SHS, won the second prize of $500 when Barney the cow went in square I-9.
Norton said Cow Pie Bingo brought in about $6,500 for the senior class. The class hopes to raise another $6,000 to $7,000 this school year, some of which will go towards making prom night both memorable and safe.
Norton and Rahaman said the Senior Class is looking to host a pre-prom party to make sure all students are safe getting to prom, which will be held this year at the Copley Plaza in Boston. There will be mandatory busing to transport the students to prom.