The month of February is ubiquitous throughout local schools for charities and fundraising. For Walt Whitman High School and Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, this month means one thing: Pennies for Patients. This month-long charity drive raises money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) and brings out students’ charitable spirits. Both schools have a variety of activities and events planned this month to make the campaign as successful as possible.
At BCC, school-wide Vice President Jacob Rains leads the SGA effort. The overall goal this year is to raise “$10,000, which would be a school record,” Rains remarked.
According to Rains, “we have been planning since September of last year” to ensure high participation. There has already been an influx of fun events on tap for BCC students. On February 9 at lunchtime there was speed dating in the cafeteria with a $3 emission fee, and on February 4 and February 11, the SGA organized restaurant nights at the local Cosi and BGR Burger Joint. Looking into the future, there are even more restaurant events, including at Cava from 6-9pm on February 18, at Panera from 6-9pm on February 23, and finally at Potbelly from 4-8pm on February 25. In addition, there will be a ‘staff vs. students’ basketball game on February 27 and a Battle of the Barons Olympics on February 20. Both of these fun events are free, but also feature a bake sale to raise money for the LLS.
Just down the road at Whitman, Pennies for Patients events are also in full swing. The school has already hosted a Battle of the Bands and a RedRush 5K run. During the rest of the month, Whitman students are looking forward to events such as Battle of the Beards, bRAVE (an all-night dance marathon which usually raises the most during LLS month), and a guy auction (auctioning off senior guys for a day).
Matt Banda leads Whitman’s Pennies for Patients efforts as president of the Whitman SGA, which has raised upwards of $90,000 in previous years. “Our overall goal is to have fun while raising awareness for LLS and all forms of cancer, and to show Whitman and the surrounding community that they can make a change in the world together!” Banda stated. He also kept the overall aim of the initiative in mind. Even with the entertaining activities, the SGA’s work is for a serious cause. “At the end of the day, the work is well worth the priceless high school memories made and the irreplaceable lives that we can save,” Banda added.
Whitman and BCC are engaged in a well-intentioned rivalry over the fundraising. On Twitter, hashtags such as “BeatWhitmanBeatCancer” have been trending among BCC students, and hopefully the competitiveness between the schools can help raise even more money.
Although Whitman historically has had an edge in the fundraising numbers, this year the Barons are giving them a run for their money. Regardless of where you live or which school you attend, be sure to donate in whatever way you can and attend some of the superb events this month to benefit a fantastic cause. Do your part to help support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and aid their fight of blood cancers nationwide.
Article by MoCo Student School News editor Max Cohen