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Penny Wars Raise $ For Polio Battle
It may have been called 'Penny Wars' but there were plenty of other coins - and paper money - donated in the collection jars for a fund drive put on by the Escalon High Interact Club.

Social studies classes competed against each other in the effort to bring in the most money. Results were not available at press time, as club members were still working on tallying the take.

"They went a little bit longer than expected," said Interact Club advisor Dave Mantooth. "It's going to take a while to count it ... there are a lot of coins."

Club vice president Neomai Niu and treasurer Emma Baumhauer agreed that the drive seemed to go very well this year.

"Mr. Young's classes filled up two and a half jars," Niu pointed out. "Each history teacher had their own jar."

About nine different classes were involved in the competition.

The drive took place throughout the week at Escalon High and all proceeds are earmarked for the Interact Club's polio eradication effort. Most of the world is now polio free, and the club's goal is to help raise money so those parts of the world that still have a problem with the disease will be able to vaccinate against it. One dollar can help immunize five to 10 children overseas, in areas where polio is still a threat.

"We didn't have a set goal," Baumhauer said, but added that because of the generosity of students, staff and teachers, the Escalon contingent has been among the top clubs in the past.

"At our district meetings we always show off how much we made," Baumhauer said, noting that the club is proud of the participation shown at the school.

The winning class will be presented with a suitable prize once the money is counted up.

Penny Wars is just one of the many activities the Interact Club members have been involved in during the school year. Other events have included the 'Kids in a Box' fundraiser for an area shelter for women and children, the Purple Pinky fundraiser during fall Homecoming Week and the regular recycling of bottles and cans on campus, which the Interact Club shares as a fundraiser with Key Club members.

Also planned is the second blood drive of the school year, set for Wednesday, May 19 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., offered in conjunction with Delta Blood Bank and being done as a replacement blood drive for an area toddler in need of donations.