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Students save up coins to give back


Hartley Elementary raises $1,955.85 for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

by: OUTLOOK PHOTO: JIM CLARK - Third-graders Naima Munye, 8, Oksana Garrilovich, 9, and Regina Puzar, 9, helped Hartley Elementary School almost quadruple its fundraising efforts for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

When the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Pennies for Patients program approached Hartley Elementary School about a fundraiser, the school was happy to participate.

“We have staff members who have a close personal connection to leukemia,” said Principal Larry Conley. “There are teachers and students in this district who have been closely affected — it’s not an abstract thing.”

From Feb. 24 through March 14, students emptied their piggy banks and scoured their couches for spare change. They had a goal to raise $500 during those three weeks.

Little did the students and staff know they would almost quadruple their fundraising goal.

Conley loaded up his truck last week with a trunk full of change and spent an hour and a half with Key Bank, counting up the coins. His jaw dropped when he saw the receipt for $1,955.85.

by: OUTLOOK PHOTO: JIM CLARK - Principal Larry Conleys jaw almost dropped when he saw Hartley Elementary had raised $1,955.85 for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Its an impressive amount for a school where 92 percent of the students receive free and reduced lunches.

The fundraising is especially impressive for a school where 92 percent of the students are on the free and reduced lunch program.

And Conley suspected the school would reach $2,000 with additional donations funneling in.

Third-graders Oksana Garrilovich, 9, Regina Puzar, 9, and Naima Munye, 8, joked that they loved the sound of coins dropping into their class collection box.

They each worked with their parents to gather spare coins at home and at their parents’ work.

“We learned to help children with cancer,” Regina said. “That by helping, it can come back around to help us.”

Lisa K. Anderson