This year Vandegrift is continuing to give back by participating in Olive Garden’s Pasta for Pennies. The program encourages students to fill teacher’s collection boxes with spare change in order to raise money for the Leukemic and Lymphoma Society. The teacher that collects the most change will be rewarded with a Bluebell ice-cream freezer for their students to enjoy.
“Giving money helps kids who are struggling to live,” Mrs. Rodriguez, Key Club sponsor, said. “By donating spare change you could be giving a child the chance to go high school and do all the things we take for granted.”
Both Leukemia and Lymphoma are cancers of the blood that kill a shocking 44,540 people per year. Since 1994, when Pasta for Pennies began, Olive Garden has raised over $53 million to help the fight against these cancers. Thanks to donations from programs like Pasta for Pennies and lots of research, survival rates have nearly quadrupled for patients since the 1950s.
“I think Pasta for Pennies is important because we are raising money that will go directly towards patients. Blood cancer is usually overlooked so it’s nice to know our school is doing their part,” Sydney Sable, member of Key Club, said. “Key Club is having its own individual competition where the winning team gets their own lunch sponsored by Olive Garden.”
Last year Vandegrift raised over $1785.00, with Coach Hardy’s classes coming in first. This year we are hoping to get over $2,000.00.
“There are many members of our soccer family who have been affected by blood cancer in some way. This motivated us to try to raise as much money as possible,” Hardy said.
Both teachers and students alike are inspired by how much money everyone has donated.
“It’s inspiring to see everybody giving so much to a good cause,” sophomore Nick Birk said. “One girl in my class gave $10.”
Whether it’s $10 or a couple of pennies, everyone can make an important contribution to a good cause.
“Even if we each just donate a few pennies, it’s something to keep the research going. I know that every dollar we earn is one step closer to finding a cure” Sophomore Niaomi Rapior said.
The competition will come to an end on Feb. 14 and the results on who won should be announced on Friday Feb. 16.