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Coin drive raises more than $1,600 in “Pennies for Patients”

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Second-grade students Olivia Teta, Lanna Tripp, Micheal Blockburger, Macey Logan, and Lucas Morehouse count coins during their "Pennies for Patients" fundraiser, as teachers Nadia Maroun and Maria Naylor look on.

April 15, 2014 — Big Cross second-graders spearheaded an effort during the month of March that raised more than $1,600 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Students in Nadia Maroun’s and Maria Naylor’s classes made posters, collected donations, and counted coins every Friday for four weeks—taking in $378.56 during the first week of the coin drive. Many posters were illustrated with messages of hope and courage.

“This is a little girl giving money to a doctor, the doctor helping the patient, and then here’s the patient out of the bed, already better!” said second-grader Jocelyn Smith, describing the poster she made for the effort.

“The fundraiser came about when it was brought up as an idea for Service Club to work on,” says Mrs. Maroun. “Having on-going research done is near and dear to my heart, as I lost my son Matthew to Leukemia in 2003, making it a personal goal for me to help. As we went through this I was blessed to meet and know many other families as well.”

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is the world's largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer. LLS funds lifesaving blood cancer research around the world and provides free information and support services to improve the quality of life of patients and their families.

By the end of the collection, the Big Cross school community had donated more than $1,600 to the effort. Jill Diamond’s first-grade class brought in the most donations, but the entire school celebrated with an assembly on Thursday, April 10, complete with pizza and popsicles.

“It is a great way to help an important cause, and have the school work together to meet a goal,” says Mrs. Maroun. “The drive gave the Service Club some ‘work’ to do and helped with team-building.”