Pennies for Patients
Valley Oaks High School students raise more than $6,100 to benefit sick kids; teachers agree to shave their heads
Millions of dollars are raised in pennies and other spare change by more than 10 million elementary, middle and high school students throughout the country each year through a program called Pennies for Patients.
KCSOS’s own Valley Oaks High School is doing its part to help the cause, which benefits the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Everyone who participates is a winner. That is, perhaps everyone except for the VOCS teachers who agreed to have their heads shaved if their students exceeded a goal of raising $5,000 for the program.
“This is the second year in row that we have exceeded our goal and losing my hair was a small price to pay for supporting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society,” said VOCS resource teacher Jamie Cooke who helped spearhead the activities.
In all, $6,184.64 was raised over a four-week period, far surpassing last year’s total of $4,400.
So, on a warm April afternoon, while Valley Oaks students enjoyed a pizza party as their reward for their valiant fundraising effort, vice principal Daran Francis revved up the clippers and played barber while Mr. Cooke and his fellow VOCS teacher, Ernie Cervantes, watched their locks hit the floor. Mr. Francis also got into the action by shaving off his mustache.
“It’s good to see some more bald heads around here,”said Francis, who was already sans hair.
The Pennies for Patients campaign began in 1995 as a service learning, character education and philanthropy program that gives students a unique experience by making a difference through teamwork—working together to aid thousands of children and adults in the fight against blood cancers like leukemia.