DOWNEY - Fighting for the title of number one fundraising high school in the nation, to beat Downey High School, and to help a good cause, Warren has raised more than $41,000 (and counting) for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.According to schoolandyouth.org, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is the world's largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer. Its goal is to find a cure for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and to improve the quality of life of patients and their families. This year, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Girl of the Year is Eva Hooten, who was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of four. Warren's proceeds will be made in her honor. "(I donated money) because if I had a little girl like Eva, I would want the help," said sophomore Jose Quinones. Quinones is in Cari White's class who won the March Madness competition. Last year, Warren brought in over $37,000 and would need a lot of help to beat that number. To create more awareness and motivation to the school, ASB created new events such as "Fear Factor: Teacher Edition," a class competition, and a scavenger hunt. In addition, the same events as previous years, "Black Out Leukemia," where paper pennies covered the word "Leukemia" for a dollar each, March Madness, where the top 64 teachers competed to bring in the most money, and "Warren's Most Caring Couple," where a senior couple that raised the most money won free prom tickets, were occurring at the same time. The top caring couple was Victoria Serrano and friend Melissa Bueno who brought in $1,877. "We dedicated our whole lives during those three weeks, but we had a lot of help and a great support system. We sold churros, chocolates, and worked with South Gate Police Department's Explorers program. We couldn't have done it without our teachers, friends, and community," said senior Victoria Serrano. "When Mr. Harris announced it on the overhead about how proud of us he was, it felt so good to help others. After awhile, it wasn't about winning the prom tickets." In "Fear Factor: Teacher Edition," two teachers needed to raise a certain amount of money each lunch period to have the other teacher eat a blended McDonald's happy meal or a cricket burrito. The class competition had two classes each lunch compete in various games and the winning class had some money added to their account total. The scavenger hunt had administrators sing songs, classes spell out "Penny" on the football field, and search for certain serial codes on $5 bills. ""The students are so excited and dedicated about Pennies for Patients. I always said that if I was a teacher, I would get involved, not only in my classroom, but also in all aspects of the school," said English teacher Aly Davis, who drank the McDonald's surprise shake. "Anything that teaches the kids to think beyond themselves is something I'm willing to support." The top three donating teachers were Nanette Johnson with $5,371, Cari White with $4,543 and Eugenia Barbeau with $2,707. These classes raised money through fundraising, online donations, letters to the community, winning competitions, class participation and more. "It was all the students who brought in the money… I was overwhelmed by how generous the students were with either their money or their time," said top donating teacher Nanette Johnson. "Mrs. White and Coach Palmer motivated me to donate. They always told us 'Sometimes little beats big and crazy beats better,'" said senior Armando Rodriguez, who was very active in Cari White's and Rachel Palmer's class, who called themselves "Team Crazy: 5150". For three weeks, the campus was abuzz with posters, announcements and fierce competitions. "I brought in my piggy bank thinking their was only some change but little did I know I had $75," said senior Ximena Panayfo, "but it felt good to help!" "It comes from the heart," added photography teacher George Redfox.
********** Published: March 17, 2011 - Volume 9 - Issue 48