November 2, 2013

Citizens of the Week: Antioch Elementary penny pinchers

The Daily Citizen

— You’ve heard of pinching pennies, but how about doing it for a good cause? Students, staff and parents at Antioch Elementary School recently collected enough pennies and other spare change to raise $2,002.84 for the Leukemia & Lymphona Society’s Pennies for Patients program.

The student leadership group at Antioch Elementary, headed by Stephanie Shipman who is the team leader of the Pennies for Patients Committee at the school, helped manage the program. The school held a competition among classrooms for the top fundraising spot. A kindergarten class raised $237.63 to win a pizza party.

“We encouraged the students to participate by hanging posters and talking to all the classrooms about the importance of donating,” Shipman said. “We were excited to help raise money for Pennies for Patients. Every penny counts.”

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s mission is to cure the blood cancer illnesses of leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma and to “improve the quality of life of patients and their families.”

“LLS funds lifesaving blood cancer research around the world and provides free information and support services,” according to a news release from the organization. The money raised at Antioch goes toward the cause.

“It was so inspiring to see the students at Antioch Elementary taking part for the first time in the Pennies for Patients program and really caring about helping others,” said Piper Medcalf, executive director of the society’s Georgia chapter. “This program is truly meaningful for them because leukemia is a disease that impacts children, and the students learn that they can really make a difference.”

Pennies for Patients is one of the organization’s national school and youth programs. Leaders at the organization say the need to cure these diseases is “critical” since a little more than one million Americans are battling blood cancers. For children under 20, leukemia is the leading cause of disease-related death, according to the organization.

For their contributions to helping find a cure for those children, The Daily Citizen names the Pennies for Patients contributors at Antioch Elementary School Citizens of the Week.