The Delaware Area Career Center’s Career-Based Intervention at Buckeye Valley Middle School are penny pinchers when it comes to cancer.
The students led the fifth annual Pennies for Patients for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society at BVMS and raised $4,025, making them one of the top milling schools in the region, which includes 28,300 schools in 38 counties, said Erik McCool, Pennies for Patients Coordinator for LLS.
The donation also earned BVMS the title of Champions of Change, a designation given to schools raising over $4,000.
“The majority of it is spare change too,” McCool said. “This school is incredible.”
The CBI students have led the campaign for five years and raised more than $14,000. This year, they beat their goal by $1,025 in less than two weeks.
“I was impressed by it,” said eight-grade CBI student Dalton Phelps. “Mind blowing.”
Phelps, 14, said the CBI students reached out to the whole school with daily school announcements, talking about it to classes, hanging up banners and making the rewards of raising the money too good to pass up.
“We made a competition,” he said. “Whoever made the most money for each homeroom gets a chance to play dodge ball against the staff.”
The CBI students also arranged for teachers to get a pie in the face at a school-wide assembly if the goal was met. The top grossing class would win a dessert party. And the assembly would have a D.J.
From March 17 through Friday, the students encouraged everyone in the school to help. They asked for pennies on Mondays, nickels on Tuesdays, dimes on Wednesdays, quarters on Thursdays and any donation on Fridays.
“I’ve been spending hours at coin star,” said CBI teacher Tina Francis. Roughly $2,000 of the total amount raised was in change.
Friday morning, as she counted up deposit slips and coin star receipts, she realized the school was only $80 away from $4,000. She put the call out to the school.
“Before I knew it, students were coming to me,” she said. “One girl said, ‘I just cleaned out my locker and here’s $5.’”
Teachers chipped in. Staff dug deep into their pockets. And the new goal was met.
Phelps was humbled.
“They’re just helping people out,” he said. “They’re helping people with cancer.”
His CBI classmate Arron Lyons, 14, agreed.
“Most of us realize it makes you feel good to help out,” he said. “Just give away little things like change around the house.”
McCool said the students of BVMS amazed him.
“I think it’s incredible when you see a group of students setting a goal, exceeding that goal and realizing they have the potential to come together and do so much to give back,” he said.
LLS set a goal for the region’s schools of raising $525,000 this year. Nationally the goal is $31 million.