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Pennies Add Up To Aid Patients
Junior Austin Murken, left, and Associated Student Body president, senior Abbie Duarte, display the collection boxes being used at Escalon High School for the ongoing Pennies for Patients drive. Marg Jackson/The Times


Students at Escalon High School are engaged in a battle – seeing who can bring in the most ‘pennies for patients’ to aid the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

The annual Pennies for Patients drive is on and already has raised more than $450 for the cause, said Associated Student Body advisor, teacher Shelly Hesse.

The goal is to raise money for cancer research, treatment and patient care. The effort has fourth period classes competing against each other on a weekly basis, as well as a battle of the sexes, with the boys and girls competing to see which group raises the most during the entire collection effort.

“The ASB kids are doing a great job,” Hesse said of the student leaders organizing the drive.

Along with the incentive of helping others in need, students winning the penny drive each week are getting a pizza party. Hesse delivered several pizzas and two-liter bottles of soda to Ryan Young’s fourth period, first place class on Friday.

“Pizza Plus has gone above and beyond,” Hesse said, in helping provide the treats for the winning classes.

Both the first and second place fundraising classes at the end of each weekly collection get the pizza party.

The drive runs through Friday, March 27 so Hesse said there are four more pizza parties to be won, at the end of this week and the end of next week.

The winner at the end of the boys vs. girls penny drive effort will be rewarded with an early release for lunch on the final day of the drive.

Hesse said Mr. Young’s class earned first place honors with a collection of $193 total for the week.

Once the drive is finished, she said all the money will be taken to a coinstar machine, which does have a ‘charity’ button and they can specify the Pennies for Patients charity to receive the proceeds.

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