Collecting pennies for patients

BHS students collect $1,722.72 to help fund blood cancer research

January 27, 2013
  • Front row: Laura Bernal, Carly Rippeon, Nicole Bruno, Kiana Miller, Bridget Dillard, Charles Anoman and Davon Clark. Second row, Mr. Reid (vice principal), Mrs. Hamilton, Ryan Walsh, Alexis Krantz, Quinn Barr, Erica Smith, Maggie Flook, Courtney Hull, Tykia Curtis, Jordan Haskell, Sammy Bainbridge, Mr. Fazio (vice principal) and Brandon Weir. Back row, Devin Holder, Tyler Castle, Billy Halbritter, Zach Poffenberger, Dakota Craig, Ben Burker, Ahsan Azhar, Chris Himes, Marvin Barr and Mrs. Biancolli. Not pictured: Lacey Smith.
Submitted photo

BOONSBORO, Md. — Students at Boonsboro High School raised $1,722.72 to help fund blood cancer research and provide help and hope to thousands of patients and their families through the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s  Pennies for Patients program.

The collection drive, in honor of third-grade leukemia patient Mackenzie McCarter of Hagerstown, was led by the students of Starlene Hamilton’s first- period career- development class. 

The National Honor Society at the high school worked in conjunction with the class.

The Pennies for Patients program is designed to teach children the value of community service in a fun way. Students spent three weeks contributing their spare change and participating in other fundraising events.

“People don’t think they can make a difference or that pennies and change matter,” said senior Nicole Bruno. “By motivating the students, together we made a big difference and potentially can save lives.”  

The students constructed letters spelling out the word “Leukemia.” For every $150 collected, a letter was removed until the word was gone.

“We made leukemia disappear within a week,” said senior Bridget Dillard.

“Thanks to research, nearly 90 percent of children with acute leukemia are now cured,” said Tricia Hammel Sturm, campaign manager of LLS’s Maryland Chapter.

“But there still is a long way to go. Leukemia affects more children than any other cancer, so LLS school and youth programs provide a meaningful way for kids to help kids.

“Every penny really does make a difference.”

In addition, LLS has designed a series of lesson plans for teachers to use in the classroom in response to the growing trend of making service learning and character education part of the curriculum.

The lesson plans integrate the themes of LLS Pennies for Patients and Olive Garden’s Pasta for Pennies programs into all academic areas.

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