2009-01-24 / Schools

Students collecting pennies to fight cancer

COLUMBUS - Central Ohio students will be plundering their piggy banks this winter in the fight against their age group's No. 1 cancer killer.

It's a stat more frightening than any pop quiz and more chilling than any wind chill reading. Leukemia causes more deaths than any other cancer among school-aged children and young adults.

During the 2007-08 school year, kids at more than 350 schools in The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Central Ohio Chapter's 38-county service area brought it more than $355,000 worth of loose change through Pennies for Patients, a part of the LLS's School & Youth programs.

Starting Monday, Feb. 2 and running through Friday, Feb. 20, kids at about 400 elementary, middle and high schools in the chapter's coverage area are aiming to raise more than $369,000 to help fund groundbreaking research efforts intended to spare the lives of students just like them.

The money raised will fund lifesaving cancer research and will help patients and their families right here in Central Ohio, said Kathy Chipps, the Central Ohio Chapter's School & Youth director. It's a true testament that kids can make a difference and bring hope and help to others.

One little penny can make one big difference.

Schools also can participate in the program from Monday, March 2 through Friday, March 20.

The following is a list of schools in The Beacon's coverage area in Licking County that are participating in Pennies for Patients and each school's coordinator:

Jackson Int e rmediat e School: Cara Ettenhofer, 740- 928-1915

Southtowne Kids Club: Margaret Riggs, 740-522-0995

Lakewood High School: Melinda Schnorren, 740-928- 4526

Granville Christian Academy: Martine Ruml, 740-587- 4423

Students participating in School & Youth programs learn the value of community service while raising money to find cures for leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma. Top fundraising schools are eligible to win pizza parties and Cinna Stix from Domino's Pizza and gift certificates for school supplies. As an added incentive, any school that raises more than $1,000 will be entered in a drawing for one of their classrooms to win one of six tours of Society-funded researcher Dr. John Byrd's lab at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center in Columbus.

Our Pennies for Patients campaign shows students the importance of giving back to those fighting cancer, said Phil Tanner, executive director of The Central Ohio Chapter of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. It is important for children to understand the need to help others and I feel our campaign is unique in that we educate them on cancer at the same time.

To make a donation or to register a school, please visit www.schoolandyouth.org/coh or contact Kathy Chipps at 614-476- 7194, ext. 229 or kathy.chipps@ lls.org.

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