‘Pennies for Patients’: Local elementary students raise $10,000 for cancer research

SOUTH RUSSELL- A group of generous second graders led the way, as students at T.C. Gurney Elementary School in South Russell raised more than $10,000 in The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's "Pennies for Patients" campaign.

Second-grader Lane Schaefer told Fox 8, “I was excited and I thought it was a good idea because it’s raising money for a good cause.”

Teacher Ben Rose says the students and staff at T.C. Gurney have made the campaign to help fund blood cancer research a friendly competition. "I think it`s inspiring at this age that they are so excited about helping others and they`re digging through their backpacks and looking in their lockers and we had a book fair and kids are using their book fair money, kind of donating that, just to see how much they cared about other people beyond themselves at that age," said Rose.

School counselor Dale Tschappat added, “we say that this may help find a cure for cancer, this may help someone who has cancer pay their bills because they're spending money on medicine and they seem genuinely excited about being able to do that.

Unfortunately, cancer has hit close to home in the Chagrin Falls School District. In recent years, several students have been diagnosed with various forms of cancer, as has the son of the superintendent of the school district. Bob Hunt says his son Hawken was only seven months old when doctors discovered he had a rare form of leukemia.

The leukemia has been in remission for two years, and Hawken Hunt's father says the contributions of Ben Rose's second graders to the “Pennies for Patients” campaign are a source of great pride. “It really speaks to the quality of young people that we have here and you know the maturity and the importance of giving back,” said Hunt.

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society says Gurney Elementary had the second highest fundraising total in 31 counties of Northern Ohio, finishing only behind Heritage Elementary School in Avon.

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