Pennies for Patients knocks some ‘cents’ into childhood cancer

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GHS comes together to collect money for childhood cancer. (BluePrints Staff Photo // Morgan Prachar)

Morgan Prachar

STORY BY MACKENNA FINLEY (’17), ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY MORGAN PRACHAR(’17), SYDNEY BEDNARSKI(’18) AND AVA KUNAR(’18), VIDEO BY MORGAN PRACHAR

Around this time every year, the hallways are filled with flyers for Cane’s lunches and usually docile math teachers boisterously advertising iced coffees. Amongst all the excitement, it’s easy to lose the meaning for it amongst the noise.

Though the high school has facilitated Pennies for Patients for years, some students are still unsure about what the fundraising is for. has been . Junior Nick Havill was not the only student to respond with the quote,  “it’s for cancer research, right?” He is not incorrect but also not fully aware of the importance of fundraising.

According to the student series webpage from the Leukemia and Lymphoma society, Pennies for Patients is a three week program originally designed for fundraising by elementary and middle school students, although the program has been adapted by high school students as well.

The website states that every year thirteen million students across 27,000 schools join with Student Series to raise funds and awareness for Leukemia and Lymphoma research.

The key point is that many students miss is that the money is donated specifically to LLS for Leukemia and Lymphoma research.

“I think it’s important that we know where our money is going,” Havill said. “It’ll help create a group purpose.”

Havill was correct in at least one aspect of his thoughts. Pennies for Patients is undeniably unifying. Mrs. Hudson, a first year Granville English teacher, has had the chance to witness this unification first hand.

“I thought it was a way to get involved without taking on the responsibility of a year-long club,” Hudson said. “We started meetings and getting ideas right away. The bar has been set high.”

Hudson took on the role of chairperson for Pennies for Patients as a way to get involved as a new teacher. As she quickly found, there’s no better way to feel apart of a community then rallying around a cause together.

“It’s a great opportunity to really think about it and empathize with the situation,” Hudson said. 

Hudson is not alone as a teacher who plays a huge role in the operation. For math teacher Mrs. Hoben, this cause sits very close to her heart.

“Cancer is huge for me and children’s cancer is huge for me,” Hoben said. “My story is that my daughter died from cancer. She was ten [years old] when she was diagnosed, she died when she was twelve and a half [years old]. So we dealt with cancer for two and a half years with her. That’s what made me passionate about it.”

Hoben’s passion for the fundraiser is clear in her enthusiasm, not just during the three weeks a year that the school participates but also year round. If there is one thing Hoben recognizes, it is the immense effect cancer has throughout the entire community.

[jwplayer mediaid=”6730″] “There isn’t a person I know who hasn’t been touched by cancer,” Hoben said. “It’s something that everyone can relate to unfortunately.”

Cancer has reached far into the hearts of many people. To encourage students and faculty to stand in solidarity against this terrible disease, the school is introducing a new fundraising opportunity this year called “Cover Cancer.”

“We’re going to sell little squares that you can write names on,” Hoben said. “It’ll give students a chance to put a memory on there.”

Squares will be sold for one dollar and each class, as well as the faculty, will have their own color. “Our goal is to cover the glass wall outside the guidance office,” Hoben said.

Pennies for Patients offers a plethora of goal objectives. From covering the glass with memory squares to the school wide goal of $10,001; there is one objective that reigns supreme: to end cancer.

Pennies for Patients offers a priceless community building opportunity that year after year fosters an environment of selfless giving.

“If we can do anything to help, then thats a good thing,” said Hoben. There is still time to join in the effort by opening your hearts, and your pocketbooks in the fight against cancer.