CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Menger Elementary School first grade teacher Reggie Perez didn't know how the community would respond to the club he organized, that teaches boys at his school how to become proper gentlemen, when it first appeared on KRIS 6 News on Friday.
"I did not anticipate support from the community," Perez said Thursday. "Although I knew — I had a feeling that they would respond."
Respond they did.
Since the first story aired on his club called Guys in Ties, several people have donated dozens of ties along with a few pairs of dress shoes and dress shirts.
More people have promised more donations including Corpus Christi Mayor Paulette Guajardo.
“I saw the story and I was just flabbergasted," she said. "Because I thought it was so wonderful that somebody actually took these steps to make this happen."
The guys taking part in Guys in Ties wear neckties to school every Wednesday, but many of them come from low income families making it hard for them to own ties.
It's why Mayor Guajardo plans to raid her husband's closet, so she can donate to the the cause.
“He’s got so many ties he won’t even know they’re missing,” she said about her husband while laughing.
Guajardo says, for a few years now, she's wanted to start a similar program for girls, but Menger Elementary is beating her to the punch.
Girls in Pearls will soon hold its first meeting sponsored by a female teacher and teaching girls at the school how to become proper ladies.
And in a few months the two groups might get together to show off the etiquette lessons they've learned.
“What we’re hoping for at the end of the year is a banquet where Guys in Ties and Girls in Pearls come together and sit down for a dinner," Perez said. "They’ll know which fork to use."