PACE — Berryhill Elementary students raised $6,130 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society — making it the top fundraising school in Florida and Alabama.
On Wednesday, students presented the check to Kelli Parramore, campaign manger for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, during the school's morning ITV broadcast.
The school raised more money than any of the 480 participating schools, Parramore said.
This marked the first year Berryhill students raised money for LLS.
"They did it through penny wars," said Leann McCombs, a fifth-grade teacher and one of the coordinators of the event.
The fundraiser involved competition between classes to see which could collect the most pennies. This penny war had a twist, according to McCombs. Classes received points for collecting pennies, but they were penalized points if their class collection jars had silver coins or paper money in them.
"Every morning you would see kids running from class to class, to see who had the most pennies," said McCombs.
Classes would even plant silver coins or paper money in rival classroom jars. It was a win-win for the LLS, McCombs said, because all proceeds went to the organization.
Then there was the special gift from Sebron Andrews. The 10-year-old took a $100 bill from his piggy bank and gave it to the LLS.
"It was for a good cause," he said, who received special recognition and some gifts from LLS.
McCombs said the school's administration, especially Principal Roger Golden and Assistant Principal Dawn Chapman, was very supportive.
All of the funds will stay in the region, Parramore said. Seventy percent will be used for patient co-pays, while the remaining 30 percent will go to research grants at University of Alabama at Birmingham.
The fundraiser was what reading teacher Michaela Bush, a penny wars co-coordinator, called "character education." Students learned the importance and benefits of giving, she said.
Every activity during the two-week fundraiser — such as hat day and tacky day — related to some form of cancer to educate students, according to Parramore.
Parramore's 7-year-old daughter, Kenna, is in remission from leukemia, so the presence of student Kohlton James during the check presentation was extra special.
Just like Kenna, Kohlton is a cancer survivor.