Coins for a cure

Vanessa Rosas

Starting March 5th, students and staff have participated in a three-week fundraising effort for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. In 2006, the school was number one in the nation for raising money out of 880 participating schools and in the past ten years, a total of more than $212,000 dollars have been raised.

“If every student donates at least five dollars, we can easily reach our goal,” ASB’s commissioner of Campus and Community Yaheli Aguilera said.

The goal for this year’s fundraiser is $20,000 dollars and in order to reach that goal, new approaches in raising money have been introduced. Like previous years, there was the competition between all the 4th periods across campus. The top three classes were Ms. Barbeau, Ms. Hanson, Mr. Wade. First place won a pasta party hosted by Olive Garden. Second and third place received dessert and pizza parties for their classes.

The tactics of the top fundraising class on campus included collecting donations from family and doing small favors for staff members to earn a few extra cents in their boxes.

“It’s not a competition when we stand as a community to help find a cure,” David Hernandez, a student in Ms. Handson’s fourth period said.

A brand new talent show campaign was introduced: Rockin’ Against Leukemia. Students will be able to form their own Guitar Hero World Tour bands to compete in a Battle of the Bands Tournament at their local school.

“RAL is a fun and unique way to get students involved in a whole other way,” sophomore Leslie Flores said. “Tons of people love Guitar Hero and it’s exciting that we can raise money by doing something we enjoy.”

Winners of each school continue to the Rockin’ Against Leukemia’s Battle of Brands Championships. Celebrity judges will be provided for the RAL Championship event. All proceeds are donated to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to help fight blood cancers.

Ticket bombing was one of the few brand new methods of fundraising. One-dollar tickets were sold by ASB and each ticket could be dropped in a classroom’s box to deduct a dollar from their total.

Red bracelets were also new tying into Friday drawings where students and teachers had the opportunity to win prizes if they were wearing their red bracelets that day. With these bracelets, one-dollar donations had the chance to become gift cards to restaurants or tickets to Laker games. Sergio Sandoval was one of the raffle winners and received Lakers Fan Jam tickets.

“The red bracelets were a great idea to raise money because your donation can end up winning you an awesome prize,” sophomore Sandavol said.

The annual Pennies for Patients assembly on March 5th featured honored hero, Cookie Shaihay, a fourteen-year-old girl who first had cancer when she was just two and relapsed twice after that. She is now cancer free and was chosen as the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Girl of the Year in 2003.

“I feel like I have about 4,000 bffs,” Cookie Shaihay said.

Shaihay continues to tell her story, motivating thousands of students to get involved in finding a cure for blood cancers.