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Elementary schools participate in 'Pennies for Patients' program

Students at Carlos, Voyager, Garfield, Lincoln and Washington elementary schools in School District 206 are participating in The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's 17th annual Pennies for Patients program.

Students at Carlos, Voyager, Garfield, Lincoln and Washington elementary schools in School District 206 are participating in The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's 17th annual Pennies for Patients program.

The community service project involves students donating spare change to fund blood cancer research and patient aid programs.

Students will bring in donations from January 14 to February 1. The top fundraising classroom in each school will win a Domino's Pizza Party.

School administrators find value in having students work toward a goal of helping others. They believe projects such as this teach compassion and build character while helping to save lives.

In the early 1960s, only one in 25 children survived leukemia. Today, more than eight in 10 with acute lymphocytic leukemia survive. However, leukemia still causes more deaths than any other cancer among children and young adults younger than age 20.

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"Pennies for Patients teaches students of all ages that they can make a difference," said Angie Lundeen, campaign director for the Minnesota Chapter. "Students contribute their spare change in honor of local student survivors, and their donations support patient services and research."

There are 28 honored heroes in Minnesota, South Dakota and North Dakota this year, including Mitchell Rice, a 2nd grader at Washington Elementary School in Alexandria.

The heroes are featured on the Web site www.schoolandyouth.org/mn/heroes .

In 2007, schools throughout the three-state area raised a record $600,000.

For information, call the Minnesota Chapter of The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society at 1-888-220-4440 or visit the Web site www.LLS.org/mn .

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