When McKinley Elementary students returned to school after winter break, they began working to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society through Pennies for Patients. Logan Wilson, McKinley’s counselor, organized the fundraiser. Wilson’s mother received a Leukemia diagnosis ten years ago, and Wilson had participated in the Lukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night walk ever since. After learning about Pennies for Patients at the Iowa School Counselors Association conference, she wanted to get her students involved. She shared: “the students were so excited and highly motivated to participate in this fundraiser, especially after learning that both my mother and one of their teachers had battled leukemia.”
To encourage friendly competition, Wilson invited students at all Muscatine Community School District’s (MCSD’s) schools to participate as well. Though teachers and counselors at each school have not finished counting all in-person donations, online totals show students have raised at least $6,903 to help those fighting cancer. Madison Elementary lead the pack, bringing in at least $3,243.
Vadhira DeAlejandro, a sixth grader at Madison, along with three of her friends, Calina Fox, Paige Smith, and Autumn Wagner, worked with their counselor, Sheila Kinyon-Johnson, to organize Pennies for Patients at their school. The students visited classrooms explaining how leukemia represents the most common childhood cancer and how each donation could help save lives. During the weeks the fundraiser ran, the four organizers helped Kinyon-Johnson collect, organize and count their in-person donations. “It’s incredible actually how much of an impact our school has been able to have,” said Vadhira.
Through their hard work, students at Madison and schools throughout MCSD have shown an outstanding amount of support for Pennies for Patients. Wilson could not feel any prouder of their accomplishments: “The success of this fundraiser has been amazing! I am so impressed with the excitement and dedication our Muskie Families have for their students and their schools.”