What started with students just reading a book turned into a fundraising effort that exceeded all expectations.
“We were looking for something big [and] something to give back to the community. A teacher said ‘We should donate to Alex’s Lemonade Stand,'” said Ryan W. Kaczmark, Principal at Mercersburg & Montgomery Elementary Schools. “So, we started this penny war, and it really just took off.”
Penny by penny, about 400 students from Montgomery and Mercersburg Elementary Schools raised more than $5,000 for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, in just one month.
“It was really exciting, because it was only pennies, quarters and [other] coins,” said Bella Stevens, a third-grader at Montgomery Elementary school.
“We actually created a penny shortage at the bank,” said Kaczmark. “They ran out of pennies, because so many parents were going to the bank to get pennies to bring back to the school.”
The students raised the money for cancer research, and it’s a subject that hits close to home for the whole community, as they recently lost two children just last year, including Weston Rock.
Rebecca Rock, Weston’s mother said her son lost his battle with cancer one year ago this month, just before his third birthday.
She said the community helped her family through their journey, and this fundraiser is an example of how they are still supporting them
“It’s very emotional and very positive for us to see our son’s story continue to encourage students to do positive things and to see people still being touched by our Weston’s story and the story of the other young man,” said Rebecca Rock, Weston’s mom & a district employee.
The schools were surprised to not only raise $5,000 in one month, but also $1,000 in the first week.