Mountainview students raise $4K for cancer patients

MORGANTOWN — The students at Mountainview Elementary School exceeded expectations when they more than doubled their fundraising goal of $1,500 for Pennies for Patients.
According to the school’s PTO Facebook page, the school has raised $3,929. The money raised will go toward the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Michelle Lemley, the PTO president, said that the school generally does school-related fundraisers to go toward school improvements, but this is the first year they took on raising money for an outside cause. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society reached out to the PTO, and it was decided Pennies for Patients would be their spring fundraiser. The students only had a few weeks to make donations.
“Our typical fundraising events have come in, in the hundreds. We started out with a high goal of $1,500, and the response just completely floored us. We did not expect this at all,” Lemley said.
She said the program offered small incentives, as the students met individual goals. Prizes were given out weekly that were provided by the Pennies for Patients Program.
“At this point, everybody knows somebody with cancer. Whether it’s in your family, a lot of kids knew people with leukemia and lymphoma specifically, and those were some our highest-collecting students,” Lemley said.
Lemley said the PTO was completely overwhelmed and is excited to up the bar next year and possibly do community-centered fundraisers in the future, now that they know the kids are so willing to give.
“It’s just an exciting lesson for them to learn at such a young age that big change can happen from even the smallest hands,” Lemley said.
Samantha Matyasovsky’s second grade class was the leader in collections, totaling about $350. When she first introduced the idea to them, some of her students said they knew someone with leukemia or lymphoma and wanted to raise as much as they could to help the cause. As grand prize winners they will receive a pasta party from Olive Garden, which was met with excitement from the students.
“I have other teachers in the school that were like, ‘Well, can we come?’ Yeah, everybody’s really excited about the Olive Garden pasta party,” she said.
Matyasovsky said her students always show enthusiasm for the things they do. She credits her students and her parents for all the hard work they do, in this cause and
in school.
“For two weeks, I hadn’t received any money and Michelle the PTO president would come by the classrooms on Fridays and check the boxes, and I would be like ‘I don’t have anything,’ ” she said.
The kids, however, were all saving up until the end. She said there was a ton of collections coming in, with everything the students had raised. She said some would asked parents or family members, donate their allowances, and would go through the house looking for any loose change they could find.
“It’s an amazing feeling. It really is. Like I said, I didn’t realize I was the winner until the very end, and I just couldn’t be more proud of my kids and what they did,” Matyasovsky said.
Twitter @DominionPostWV

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