November 21, 2014 — For the second year in a row, a bunch of loose change in small plastic sand pails turned into a big check presentation to the Glens Falls Hospital’s Charles Wood Cancer Center, and school community support for neighbors battling cancer.
Jackson Heights third-grader Jack Sweet came up with the idea last year to collect “Pennies for Pink” on Wednesdays during October. Four weeks of school-wide donations added up to a $400 check being presented to the Cancer Center last year.
“Sure enough, as school was just beginning this year, many children were thinking only of their studies and their friends,” said Jack’s current teacher, Nicole Cremo. “But Jack approached me and asked if we could have a second annual collection. How could I say no?”
This year, however, Jack wanted to make it bigger than before. So he and his class reached out to the third grades at Kensington and Big Cross elementaries for their support too. “I’ll never forget the quick and enthusiastic ‘yes’ we received from all,” said Ms. Cremo.
Under Jack’s leadership, his entire class and third-graders around the district pitched in to help with the effort. Students made signs to hang around the school hallways, collected change, counted the coins, and made pink ribbons for each donor.
This year, the calendar gave the students five Wednesdays in October—one more collection week than in the inaugural effort. And by the end of the month, students were excited to hand the big check to officials from the Glens Falls Hospital Foundation during a school-wide assembly November 6th in the Jackson Heights gym.
“There was a first-grader at Jackson Heights whose family donated a hundred dollars,” said Ms. Cremo. “And a first-grader at Big Cross who donated more than one hundred dollars of her own tooth fairy, report card, chores and birthday money.”
“But make no mistake—it was the combined effort of those who donated one penny, to those who donated a hundred. And I’m so proud to announce that because of the way we all came together, this year we raised a whopping eight hundred dollars!” she said to loud cheers from the packed gymnasium.
Vickie Yattaw, RN, and Claudia Higgins from the Glens Falls Hospital Foundation accepted the large construction paper check, and thanked all of the elementary students and staff district-wide for their efforts.
“The money will go towards transportation costs for people undergoing cancer treatment at the Hospital,” said Ms. Higgins. “We provide $25 gas cards for patients in active treatment, so they can get to their appointments.”