Woodland Middle School students raised a record amount of nearly $3,000 to help support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to help fund research into finding more effective treatments and cures for blood cancers affecting children throughout the world.
For the past 12 years, Woodland Middle School students have taken part in the Pennies for Patients Campaign, a fundraiser dedicated to raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, an organization that researches effective treatments for blood cancers as well as supporting families in need to pay for their children's treatment and after-care support.
"Woodland Middle School is the only school out of 3,400 schools to participate every year since the fundraiser started," announced Lisa Weber, Student Series Campaign Manager for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, at a special assembly kicking off the event in March. "Over its first 11 years, Woodland students have raised more than $14,000." The results from this year's 12th campaign brings the school's total to nearly $17,000 in raised funds.
During the kickoff event, Weber showed a video of Stephanie Urs, a childhood cancer survivor, who spoke of her experiences receiving a diagnosis of leukemia at just 16 months of age. Although the cancer initially entered remission, it returned with her only chance of survival being a bone marrow transplant from her baby brother. "When you fund LLS, you are helping to fund many other types of cancer and disease treatment," explained Weber. "LLS also helps patients financially with co-pay assistance, travel assistance, referrals, and after-treatment support."
Woodland Middle School started participating with the Pennies for Patients Campaign during the campaign's inaugural year in 2002, averaging $1,004.77 in fundraising every year since. "A typical school in the area with the same student body size raises about $702 with each student raising an average $2.02," said Weber. "In Woodland, students raise an average of $2.79 each, which is a pretty impressive feat."
Robin Uhlenkott, Social Studies, Leadership, and Electives Teacher at Woodland Middle School, coordinates the fundraiser each year, encouraging students to raise donations of any amount from friends and family members, "Our initial goal this year was $750, so we smashed it!" The homeroom class raising the most donations received a special ice cream party to celebrate their success.
The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society was started in 1949. In 1950, there was virtually no chance of survival for children diagnosed with blood cancers. Since that time, research into treatments has resulted in a survival rate of more than 90%. In 2015, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society invested $67 million in research into treatments. More than 14.5 million students, 850,000 educators, and 28,000 schools throughout the United States participate in the fundraiser annually with more than $27 million raised in 2014-2015 alone.
To learn more about the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society including what you can do to help, you can visit their website at www.lls.org.