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Mt. Pleasant students participate in Pennies for Patients campaign

| Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Students who helped raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and will continue to gather money through March are (front, from left) Michael Sarnelli, 13, Jason Beranek, 13, Marcos Juliano, 13, Brandon Leeder, 15, Dom Monstrola, 14; (back) Cole Dombrosky, 13, Zachary Remaley, 16, Jena Szelong, 18, Danielle Brnilovich, 18, and Matthew Johnson, 16. Marilyn Forbes | For the Daily Courier

For the second consecutive year, a group of Mt. Pleasant Area Junior-Senior High School students volunteered their talents and time to gather money to be donated to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society as part of the Pennies for Patients campaign.

Mt. Pleasant guidance counselor Terry Remaley organized the event. She said that it is commendable the students step up to volunteer for the drive.

“It really makes me proud that they are not doing this for a class project or as any type of requirement,” Remaley said. “These students gave up part of their lunches or part of their study halls to collect money or make signs for this.”

The students will continue to raise money through donations and through the “Pie the Teacher” event, which will take place in March.

“This is a lot of work to organize and I was seriously thinking of not having the ‘Pie the Teacher' this year, but ironically, I was approached by a couple of the teachers who said ‘Are we doing this again? I'll be glad to do it.' So we are holding it again this year.”

Money raised from the event and collections will be added together.

The junior high homeroom and the senior high homeroom that raise the most money through collections will be treated to a pizza party.

“It's really touching that our students are so generous,” Remaley said. “You see a student donating 30 pennies and you know that they very well may have had to scrounge to get that money.”

In addition to the students collecting the pennies and change, faculty and staff at the junior/senior high school, Donegal Elementary and Norvelt Elementary, and members of the administration contributed.

“They were all very supportive of the event,” Remaley said. “We collected about half of the money from this source and this is a tremendous amount of support, which is greatly appreciated.”

Students who volunteered to help were happy to help a good cause.

“I like to do things to support the community and to help others,” Jena Szelong, 18, said.

Student volunteer Danielle Brnilovich said she was impressed by the interest shown by the students who participated and contributed.

“Everyone seemed really enthusiastic about this,” Brnilovich said. “I'm happy to see that it was such a success.”

Remaley said she wanted to raise at least $1,000.

“My goal was $1,000, but they have already raised $1,074 and we are still collecting for the ‘Pie the Teacher,'” Remaley said. “I think that these students are doing a great job and when you constantly hear about all the negative things that kids do, it's really wonderful to see them doing something like this.

“The spirit of giving and the generosity of this school and our district can be seen throughout the year, but especially at this time.”

Marilyn Forbes is a freelance writer.

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