Middle School donates pennies to Cancer Society

Theresa Ambs counts pennies for ACS.

Mary Ball felt good watching thousands of pennies cycle through American 1 Federal Credit Union’s coin-counting machine at its Home Office.

“Every dollar makes a difference,” Ball, a community representative for the Great Lakes Division of the American Cancer Society (ACS), said.

Each penny, nickel, dime, and quarter came from sixth, seventh, and eighth graders from Jackson’s Kidder Middle School, in the Northwest School District, and were collected over one week before spring break. American 1 waived its normal seven percent coin machine usage fee to help boost the total.

For the fifth year, kids competed by collecting coins to benefit Jackson’s Relay for Life, a fundraiser for ACS, culminating in an Icebreaker Assembly where Ball accepts all the coins collected. Classes throughout the middle school compete in small games and activities to see who can bring in the most pennies. Each year, the kids raise enough money to sponsor a team at the Relay for Life event on August 1 at Jackson’s Cascades Park.

“The goal is for them to have fun,” Ball said, “and to feel good about what they’ve done.”

All that copper and zinc will help fund ACS’s college scholarship fund and Jackson’s own Camp Catch-a-Rainbow, where children between four and fifteen years old who are being treated for cancer or who are in remission from cancer can enjoy five days of fun activities at the YMCA Storer Camps.

Ultimately, Ball said, each dollar raised “could be the dollar that makes the difference.”

A sixth-grade class at Kidder won the fundraising competition, but the middle school as a whole collected more than 4,600 pennies, 2,600 nickels, 2,800 dimes, 1,100 quarters, and several dollars and personal checks to help the ACS’s cause.

The total? A little more than $1,300 – with $1,247.49 coming from coins alone.

American 1 saved the ACS about $90 by waiving the usage fee.

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