Pennies for Patients

DOWNEY - Ranking in 2nd place out of hundreds of other high schools, Warren High School collected over $7,500, in hopes of finding a cure for blood cancer in 2008 with the School & Youth Program: The Leukemia & Lymphoma Societys, Pennies for Patients.More than 823,000 Americans are living with blood cancer, and an estimated 135,000 more will be diagnosed throughout the year. Leukemia is still the leading cancer killer among kids and young adults under the age of 20. Pennies for Patients, is a program along with Pasta for Pennies that encourages young people and their schools to collect spare change in their classrooms to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Since 1993, millions of dollars have been raised by these programs all across the country. Last year they raised a total of 19 million dollars to fund blood cancer research and patient aid. Last year a total of $993,359 was collected from The Greater Los Angeles area, which consisted of schools from Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo's counties. This was a new record which made The Greater LA School & Youth campaigns number one in the nation for the third year running. This year their goal is to raise over $1 million dollars and Warren High is ready to help make this goal come true. Starting February 23rd and running through March 13th Warren High's Associated Student Body will supply every class, with a fourth period, a box for this fundraiser. ASB members will come by the classrooms and collect the money that has been collected every Friday and keep the school updated on the classes that have the most money raised. The class that collects the most money by the end of the fundraiser will receive a pasta party catered by Olive Garden. Last year Jay Waldron was the teacher whose class collected the most money, but instead of accepting the pasta party for his class they did something different, as they gave their pasta to the Midnight Mission in L.A. "The pasta that we received was given to the Midnight Mission in L.A. We served it to the homeless there and it was an amazing experience!" said Nathalie Gutierrez. In addition to the pasta party this year, the teacher whose class raises the most money will get the day off and have John Harris, the principal, substitute the class. To top it off the teacher will also receive a $50 gift certificate to any Downey restaurant of their choice. "Cari White and I were trying to come up with ideas and incentives for this fundraiser and she had a $50 gift certificate to any Downey restaurant and so I told her I was willing to cover a class for the winning teacher as well." said Harris. To Mr. Harris this fundraiser is very important for the reason that he can relate to what many people feel when they lose a loved one to this tragic disease. "Back when I was eight years old my three year old brother passed away from leukemia." said Harris The second place classroom will receive a pizza party and the third place winners will receive a donut party, but this year a small twist will be added to the campaign. During the final weeks Warren will be at War, not just any war but a Penny War. "ASB came up with the idea of having a penny war the last week [of the fundraiser], because we used to do it in middle school…," said Catherine Ngyen, who is part of ASB. "…it made raising money a lot more fun and it also got more students involved." During this Penney War each class will have an additional box where only silver coins and dollar bills will be collected. The value of any pennies collected by the class will count as positive points toward the class's total amount and the value of silver coins and dollars will subtract from that total. In competition this allows other classes who are in close running of first place to bombard the winning class with silver coins and dollar bills to get that class to lose their chance of the first place title. During this week the money will be collected daily and the top five classes will be announced and posted daily. In order for Warren to beat their previous amount of $7597.94, which ranked them 2nd place last year their goal for this year is $10,000. Every one is free to donate money to this honorable cause of finding a cure to blood cancer. It is just a click away. For more information on how to donate visit www.schoolandyouth.org. ********** Published: February 20, 2009 - Volume 7 - Issue 44