Spare change to fight cancer

Angelica Co, Student Life Editor

In efforts to contribute to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the Vikings gathered together their spare change in the course of three weeks and participated in Pennies for Patients which ran from Feb 15 to March 4.  This year’s face of the campaign was a seven year old cancer survivor Eva who was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia when she was only four years old.

Typically, an assembly is held to inform the student body about the campaign and to introduce them to this year’s blood cancer survivor representative, but this year an assembly did not occur.  However, even without it, the Commissioner of Campus and Community Josh Noa, who was in charge of this year’s Pennies for Patients, was still able to get the students and staff to join in the fight against blood cancer and ended up gathering a good number of funds.

“I think this year Downey High School did really well in raising funds for Pennies for Patients,” Noa said.  “It was nice to see the student body open up their wallets in support of a good cause.”

In order to acquire more donations, the associated student body has set up the traditional class competition in which fourth period classes competed against each other to see which class gets the most contribution.  First place won a pasta party from Olive Garden, second place won a pizza party, and third place won an ice cream party.

“My teachers were really determined to place in the competition,” sophomore Eduardo Lopez said.  “And because of them, the students in my classes became eager to get their fellow students to donate.”

To get more people to take part in the campaign, there were a couple of food fundraisers after school.  In addition, there was also a Mr. and Ms. Downey High contest in which couples attempt to collect as much input as possible.  The pair with the most money was named Mr. and Ms. Downey High.

But before submitting the donations, ASB members made a final move on Saturday, March 5, as they went all over the city of Downey to ask various homes for spare change.

Besides the ASB members, the teachers, as well, were very dedicated in helping make this campaign successful.  By giving more privileges to their students, like homework and bathroom passes, some classes accumulated hundreds of dollars with a few almost reaching up to $1,000.

“Although the prospect of free homework passes was a definite incentive to donate,” junior Eric Choi said “the true motive behind my donations was to help the multitude of people in the nation that are suffering from cancer.”

The Leukemia and Lymphoma society has been going on for more than a decade.  The students and staff have been very generous in giving to this cause that they ranked first in the nation in 2006, and last year, it ranked number ten.  Throughout the years, the Vikings have been constantly on the top ten in the nation