GBEMS students give back – one penny at a time

Melissa Taylor’s first grade class at Green Bank Elementary-Middle School was the top class raising money for the annual Pennies for Patients project. First row, from left: Charlie Halterman, Cheyenne Vandevender, Riley Cassell, Xavier Watson, Sophia Murray, Hayden Waddell and Morgan Beverage. Second row: Noah Good, Cadence Kerr, Draven Hannah and Zachary Wimer. Third row: Melissa Taylor. Not pictured: Austin Price, Tori Price and Savannah Haden. S. Stewart photo
Melissa Taylor’s first grade class at Green Bank Elementary-Middle School was the top class raising money for the annual Pennies for Patients project. First row, from left: Charlie Halterman, Cheyenne Vandevender, Riley Cassell, Xavier Watson, Sophia Murray, Hayden Waddell and Morgan Beverage. Second row: Noah Good, Cadence Kerr, Draven Hannah and Zachary Wimer. Third row: Melissa Taylor. Not pictured: Austin Price, Tori Price and Savannah Haden. S. Stewart photo

Suzanne Stewart
Staff Writer

Eleven years ago, Green Bank Elementary-Middle School decided it was time to give back to a good cause. That was the beginning of the school’s annual Pennies for Patients fundraiser.

Each year, students collect money to donate to The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Along with helping a good cause, the fundraiser is a friendly competition among the students.

“The class that collects the most money between February 8 and February 26 is given a party – a small celebration,” guidance counselor Ira Brown said. “It’s really neat. It’s our main service project we do each year.”

In its first year, the project raised $266.56 and this year, the total was $1,233.89. In 11 years, the school has raised more than $17,000.

This year’s winning class was Melissa Taylor’s first grade, which raised $220.28. Second place went to Kelli Tallman’s fifth grade class with a total of $133.63.

Brown said the funding is used by the LLS for programs and services it delivers to patients, administrative expenses and fundraising.

Brown added that the school is grateful to First Citizens Bank of Arbovale which helped them count all the change that was collected.

According to information provided by Brown, “leu-kemia is the most common cancer in children, adolescents and young adults under 20 years of age. It causes more deaths than any other cancer among this age group. In 2014, approximately 4,103 children and adolescents in the United States under age 20 were diagnosed with a leukemia.”

For information regarding local programs and services of the Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia Chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, call 800-736-CURE or visit www.lls.org/wpa

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