Tuesday, April 8, 2003

Good News

Kids raise $31,867 for cancer victim

By Karen Vance

GLENDALE - For three years, students in the Princeton City School District have raised money in honor of an 8-year-old West Chester boy battling leukemia.

This year, the district raised $31,867 in the annual "Pennies for Pasta" campaign, benefiting the Southern Ohio Chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. That's the top total in the state, and the district is still waiting for word as to whether it's the top in the nation, said Amy Goohs, the Princeton High School teacher who supervises the campaign as an activity of the Key Club.

Last year, the district had the second-highest total in the nation with $21,532 in the campaign, which is sponsored by Olive Garden restaurants. The restaurant chain donates a lunch for up to 50 students in the highest fund-raising classes.

Mohit Gupta, a senior member of the Key Club, was a member of one of the classes, raising $5,393. The class prepared for the campaign ahead of time, making arrangements with businesses to collect money in front of stores.

"I just think it's probably the greatest thing we do, to be able to help kids with leukemia," Gupta said. "I like to interact with the community and help people. It's a great feeling to help out those who don't have the opportunities we have."

One student brought in $2,000 by herself by involving students at elementary schools in "penny wars," a competition to see who collects the most pennies.

In addition to the free lunch, the school also provided a juice and doughnut breakfast for anyone who collected $10, and the club raffled off Valentine's Day cakes and a basket of products donated by Proctor & Gamble Co.

Goohs said the Key Club receives information about numerous causes, but this one means a lot to the students because of their closeness in age to many people suffering from these diseases.

"When 'Pasta for Pennies' came across my desk, I just thought we should give it a try," Goohs said. "We set a goal this year of $25,000, and we blew it away. This is something everyone really looks forward to."

Starting Saturday, buying Yoplait yogurt at a Cincinnati-area Kroger store will help researchers find a cure for breast cancer.

Yoplait will donate $1 for every container of Yoplait bought at a Greater Cincinnati Kroger store to the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, through race day April 26, up to $10,000.

Up to 75 percent of the funds collected from the Race for the Cure stay in the community for breast cancer education, outreach and help to the medically under-served. A minimum of 25 percent supports the Komen Foundation Research program.

Over the last five years, Yoplait and its parent company, General Mills, have donated more than $10 million to the breast cancer cause.

Allen Howard is on vacation. Karen Vance will write "Some Good News" until he returns. If you have a "good news" story you would like to share, e-mail kvance@fuse.net.

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