After a month of “Penny Wars” at A-D-M High School and Middle School, it was announced, in an assembly in the High School Gym on Monday, that the schools would be donating $9,090.57 to Beat Cancer Today. Students Chloe Spoonemore, Nolan Harsh, Matthew Oberreuter and Alec Goos led the assembly.
At the beginning of the assembly, Oberreuter asked who had immediate family members who were affected by cancer, then who had extended family members who were affected by cancer and, finally, who knew anybody that had been affected by cancer. By the final question, nearly everyone in the gym was on their feet.
“Every single one of us is affected by cancer. They all stood up,” said Tammie Smith, Student Council advisor at A-D-M. “Every kid in this building is affected by cancer in some way and it’s really good to teach… students empathy and you have to start at this age, otherwise they don’t learn it.”
Throughout the month, students would drop coins into buckets in their advisory classes to gain positive points for their class, and drop dollars into other class’s buckets, to subtract points. All of that money is what factored into the total, being donated to Beat Cancer Today.
Beat Cancer Today is an organization that was started by a group of parents, including Aaron Horn, who is an alum of A-D-M and graduated from the High School back in 1998. 100 percent of the proceeds that were raised at A-D-M go towards the organizations that Beat Cancer Today donates to, such as Children’s Cancer Connection, Children’s Oncology Group and University of Iowa Dance Marathon.
“There’s no overhead cost at all in Beat Cancer Today,” Smith said. “It’s a volunteer-run organization.”
Smith said she approached Horn about getting involved and he jumped on board. She said he held an assembly at the school and sold custom A-D-M t-shirts that said Beat Cancer Today on them.
They sold 250 t-shirts and the money raised from that benefited Beat Cancer Today beyond the money they raised from the Penny Wars.
“So we probably made over ten thousand (dollars) with the t-shirt sales,” Smith said.
Smith said that the “amazing” thing about the penny drive is that everyone can participate.
“Every kid can bring a penny, but then some kids could bring a hundred pennies,” Smith said. “I like that some kids were super proud of five pennies and some kids were super proud of five-thousand pennies. Every kid can participate no matter where they are in life. That’s the best thing about a penny war.”
The Penny Wars at A-D-M began on Feb. 1 and concluded at the assembly on Monday.