PHOTOS: Teachers at Old Greenwich School Take Pies in the Face for a Great Cause

James, 9, and Sam, 7, outside Old Greenwich School at the Pie Smashing event on Friday Sept 22, 2017. Photo Leslie Yager

James, 9, and Sam, 7, outside Old Greenwich School at the Pie Smashing event on Friday Sept 22, 2017. Photo Leslie Yager

September is Leukodystrophy month and Old Greenwich School’s Principal Jen Bencivengo did something novel for her longtime friend Allyson Buck on the school steps Friday afternoon.

Ms. Bencivengo and Allyson grew up down the street from each other in Guilford and both relocated to Greenwich. Allyson’s sons Sam and James attend Glenville School, and their older sister Imogen attends Western Middle School.

Sam was diagnosed with VWM, which is short for Vanishing White Matter Disease when he was just two.

On Friday Old Greenwich School participated in a “Pie Face Challenge” to raise funds for research for a cure for the rare disease.

“The bottom line is that this involves all of our community. It doesn’t matter if it’s Old Greenwich or Glenville. We’re all one community,” said Principal Bencivengo.

“Everyone has been really enthusiastic,” said Allyson Buck, Sam’s mother. “They did pie smashing events at Glenville School and North Mianus School.”

Buck said  hopefully Western Middle School, where her daughter Imogen is in 6th grade, will follow suit.

James Buck smashes a pie into the face of Old Greenwich School principal Jen Bencivengo on Sept 22, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

James Buck smashes a pie into the face of Old Greenwich School principal Jen Bencivengo on Sept 22, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

“We are so grateful for everyone’s support. We need $1 Million to fund the research. There are only 250 people with VMS worldwide and pharmaceutical companies are not interested,” Buck said. “There are only two places in the world where research is being conducted – in Tel Aviv and Amsterdam. Both have found compounds that they think can stop the progression of the disease, thought it won’t undo the damage.”

During the event, Old Greenwich School families donated $7 because Sam turned 7 this month to raise funds for Vanishing White Matter Disease research.

Paper plates of whipped cream were lovingly smashed by teachers into each others faces on a beautiful afternoon.

The VWM Families Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) that Allyson Buck and her husband started and run to raise funds for research here in the US. www.vwmff.org/donate

Jen Bencivengo, Allyson Buck

Jen Bencivengo with Allyson Buck at the pie smashing event at Old Greenwich School. Sept 22, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Assistant Principal Abby Ostruzka , Allyson Buck and Principal Jen Bencivengo at the Pie Smashing event at Old Greenwich School, Sept 22, 2017

Assistant Principal Abby Ostruzka , Allyson Buck and Principal Jen Bencivengo at the Pie Smashing event at Old Greenwich School, Sept 22, 2017

Assistant Principal Abby Ostruzka and Principal Jen Bencivengo with James and Sam Bucka at the Pie Smashing event at Old Greenwich School, Sept 22, 2017

Assistant Principal Abby Ostruzka and Principal Jen Bencivengo with James and Sam Buck at the Pie Smashing event at Old Greenwich School, Sept 22, 2017

Families donated $7.00 in honor of Sam's 7th birthday at the pie smashing event at Old Greenwich School. Sept 22, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Families donated $7.00 in honor of Sam’s 7th birthday at the pie smashing event at Old Greenwich School. Sept 22, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Teachers at Old Greenwich School participated in the pie smashing event on Sept. 22, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Teachers at Old Greenwich School participated in the pie smashing event on Sept. 22, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Teachers at Old Greenwich School participated in the pie smashing event on Sept. 22, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Teachers at Old Greenwich School participated in the pie smashing event on Sept. 22, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Teachers at Old Greenwich School participated in the pie smashing event on Sept. 22, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Teachers at Old Greenwich School participated in the pie smashing event on Sept. 22, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Teachers at Old Greenwich School participated in the pie smashing event on Sept. 22, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Teachers at Old Greenwich School participated in the pie smashing event on Sept. 22, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Teachers at Old Greenwich School participated in the pie smashing event on Sept. 22, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Teachers at Old Greenwich School participated in the pie smashing event on Sept. 22, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Teachers at Old Greenwich School participated in the pie smashing event on Sept. 22, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Teachers at Old Greenwich School participated in the pie smashing event on Sept. 22, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Teachers at Old Greenwich School participated in the pie smashing event on Sept. 22, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Teachers at Old Greenwich School participated in the pie smashing event on Sept. 22, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Teachers at Old Greenwich School participated in the pie smashing event on Sept. 22, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Teachers at Old Greenwich School participated in the pie smashing event on Sept. 22, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Sam and James look on as Principal Bencivengo explains how the pie smashing event will take place. Sept 22, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Sam and James look on as Principal Bencivengo explains how the pie smashing event will take place. Sept 22, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Sam and James at Old Greenwich School for the pie smashing event 22, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Sam and James at Old Greenwich School for the pie smashing event 22, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager