Eastside students wrap up two community fundraisers

By By JAMES COLLINS / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- The Eastside Elementary student council continued its commitment to community service last week by wrapping up a school-wide fundraiser supporting two charitable causes.
The school has been collecting pennies since January to donate to two separate organizations, the Make A Wish Foundation and Pennies for Patients.
Whether it be collecting canned goods for the Salvation Army or making Christmas cards for American soldiers, the school's student council is constantly working to help others.
On Friday morning, the student council completed its second and final collection of pennies as a group of students travelled from class to class collecting coffee cans and small cardboard boxes full of change.
The class that collects the most money will be rewarded with a pizza party.
Through the first round of collections, the leading class was Beverly Ostrander's first grade class with $38. The entire school raised more than $200 in the first round alone.
Fourth grade teacher and student council co-chair Pat Roggen said the penny collection began primarily as a drive for the Make A Wish Foundation, but the students added Pennies for Patients to the fundraising campaign to localize their efforts.
Roggen received a letter from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in Michigan with information about its annual Pennies for Patients drive.
The letter indicated that the program encourages students to collect spare change to help support patient service programs and vital research to find a cure for blood-related cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma.
This fundraiser went along perfectly with the penny drive for the Make A Wish Foundation, so the student council decided to extend its efforts to help two good causes.
In May, the student council has organized the school's annual walk-a-thon to raise money for Relay for Life, a campaign to help fight cancer.
Each class will walk down to the Niles High School track, where the students will walk for an hour to raise funds for this summer's Relay for Life event.
The student council also runs a school store every Friday to help raise money for various community service projects.

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