By Ronald DeRosa | Email the author | March 22, 2011
A group of philanthropic students and families of Cross Street School proved that pennies could go a long way.
Since February, students at this grades 5-6 school have been donating money to Pennies for Patients, a program dedicated to funding the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and its effort to find cures for child cancer.
Nationally, the society has raised $100 million over the past 14 years through such fund raising efforts, according to its website, and that figure is a little bit higher this month thanks to the Cross Street students.
“I never thought we’d get that much,” Jackson said, holding a poster with the final figure tallied at the top. “I thought maybe we’d do $500.”
Several children brought in their savings and change they were collecting in their piggy banks, Jackson said. One student even brought in $30 worth of pennies, she said.
“This was the first time we did this, and it really was a success,” Jackson said.
There was an incentive in donating to the program. The classes at Cross Street with the highest amount of donations would be awarded with a pizza party. Amazingly, two classes came out with the exact same amount: $147.90, Jackson said. Those two classes were Lorraine Marzinotto’s fifth-grade class and Donna Renzoni’s sixth-grade class.
Two Cross Street students stood out during this process: 10-year-old Bailey Dionne and 11-year-old Tanysha Sanchez. Dionne came up with the idea of making scarves to sell to interested students for $2, with all of the proceeds going to the program on behalf of her class.
Sanchez donated her design skills to the cause.
When asked where she came up with this idea, Dionne explained how she once had cancer herself when she was younger. She said she wanted to find a way to give back just as those helped provide money to cure her ailment. The two together girls sold 27 scarves.
Sanchez said she was happy to see the results of their labor.
“It was great to see how much the whole school raised,” she said.