Loose change helps fight cancer

Published 4:01 pm Monday, February 19, 2018

Students at Thorsby School showed that loose change could go a long way in helping make a difference.

Kindergarten through sixth grade classes took part in the Pennies for Patients program that benefits the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

For two weeks, students in each class collected coins and placed them in their own individual donation boxes.

A total of $2,330.31 was donated.

School counselor Christina Cochran helped head the event and took the coins gathered to Winn-Dixie in Clanton to use its coin machine, which offers the option of donating the coins to charity.

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society was one of the charitable organizations to choose from, and afterward it printed out a receipt with a breakdown of how many coins were entered.

“We also used it for math,” Cochran said.

Nicole Fuller’s fifth grade class raised the most money with $443.55, while Amy Barnett’s fifth grade class was second with $306.80.

Faith Pledger raised the most money of any student in the Pennies for Patients program at Thorsby. She stands alongside her fifth grade teacher Nicole Fuller. (Photo by Anthony Richards)

Both classes celebrated their efforts with an ice cream party on Feb. 14.

Several students knew of someone in their lives that had been diagnosed with cancer, including fifth grader Faith Pledger, whose brother battled with cancer six years ago.

Pledger raised the most money of any individual student as a result and looks forward to continuing to get involved with the program with the help of her family.

According to Pledger, finding the change was both fun and challenging. She was always looking on the ground and keeping an eye out for any loose change that she could scrounge up.

Cochran had been involved with the program in the past, but this was the first time she had been a part of it at Thorsby.

“This is by far the most money that I’ve ever seen raised,” Cochran said. “They did it on their own, which is really awesome.”

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society will send commemorative pennants to be hung in the classrooms of those that met specific monetary criteria.

Two classes earned a gold pennant, while one class earned a silver pennant and seven classes earned a bronze pennant.