Every Penny Counts in Southern Middle Schoolers’ Fundraiser for David’s Dream and Believe

By DAVID BIGGY | May 29, 2019
Courtesy of: Steve Crisalli (From left) Southern Regional Middle School students Macy Soper, Bella Wyckoff, Ashley Pierson, Payton Nork and Liv Davis hand over a check to David’s Dream and Believe Cancer Foundation CEO David Caldarella (far left) and Director Steve Crisalli (behind) on May 23.

Stafford Township — Last year, Southern Regional Middle School students got so involved with raising money for the David’s Dream and Believe Cancer Foundation through its first Penny Wars Challenge, they decided to do it again. This time, of course, the bigger challenge was to raise the bar a little more.

On May 23, DDBF Director Steve Crisalli and CEO David Caldarella found out just how much the bar was raised when David’s Dream and Believe Club officers Macy Soper, Bella Wyckoff, Ashley Pierson, Payton Nork and Liv Davis handed them a check for $2,250.

“That’s $166 more than last year,” Crisalli said. “This is a lesson in kindness and paying it forward. Every penny helps and the demand for that help is never-ending. Hopefully, these students take away something from this fun activity that becomes a lifetime of volunteering and giving back to whatever community they end up in as adults.”

The Penny Wars Challenge is a 10-day competition among all the academic teams at the middle school. Students are asked to fill their academic team jars, which are located in the cafeteria, with pennies during their lunch periods – pennies count as one point and dollar bills count as 100 points. As part of the twist to the competition, when an opposing team puts any type of silver coin in the other team’s jars, that amount is deducted from the penny amount of that team.

The team with the most Penny Wars points earns points toward its respective academic team’s points for the annual SRMS Competition Day, when all the teams compete in various competitions throughout the day.

“Once this year’s competition was over, the Shark team collected the most pennies, 12,313,” Crisalli reported. “But the other teams bombarded their jar with a lot of silver and they ultimately lost to the Lightning team, which had 10,921 pennies but much less silver coinage in the jar. When all the money was counted, the Penny Wars Challenge raised $2,250.”

Additionally, the student group made more than 50 “Chemo Car Bags,” for which the students donated items, such as socks, blankets, crossword puzzles, hand lotion, notepads and pens. The students also made many get-well cards for patients.

As of May 22, DDBCF so far this year has financially provided $147, 986.94 in grant funding to 119 families. Since its inception just over eight years ago, DDBCF has helped 1,370 families with $1,178,745.19 in funding.  —D.B.

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.