Students Hold Pie Fundraiser for Alzheimer’s After Community Member Loses Wife to the Disease

When a member of their school community lost his wife to Alzheimer’s, students in North Dakota decided to do what they could to raise money to fight the disease. They did this with pie.

Honor Society students at Fargo South High School spent the week of April 19th through the 23rd raising money for the North Dakota Alzheimer’s Group. The students filled buckets with donations during lunch breaks throughout the week, and once they reached $50, a teacher of their choice was allowed to pie them.


The effort was a nod to North Dakota Student Activities executive director Les Anderson, who lost his wife Debbi to Alzheimer’s over the winter.

A news release from the Fargo School District said, “The Honor Society at South High School is holding this fundraiser to benefit the North Dakota Alzheimer’s Group. This cause was chosen as the North Dakota Association of Honor Society program’s state philanthropy project for a personal reason. Les Anderson, the North Dakota state director, lost his wife, Debbi, to Alzheimer ’s disease this winter. All funds raised will be donated to the North Dakota Alzheimer’s Group in Debbi’s honor.”

Six students were tasked with carrying their buckets and facing possible whipped cream to the face for the good cause. The school community was happy to do their part to bring awareness to the disease and help bring a smile to Anderson’s face.


Honor Society member and student Yvonnah Marshall says, “Definitely because of Les Anderson. He’s just made it such a hearty topic on us and we just know how important it is to him, and just to everyone, because it is a really big issue right now.”

By Tuesday, they had already raised $700, with three more days to go. On its Facebook page, the school district shared pictures of the students who had met their goal getting the pie treatment, calling it a “messy fundraiser.”

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, roughly 15,000 people 65 and older are living with Alzheimer’s in North Dakota, and 19,000 North Dakotans are serving as caregivers for a loved one with the disease.

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