The Block Island Times

“Pennies For Patients” program seeks donations to fight cancers

Drop off your donation at Block Island School by 3/29
By Lars Trodson | Mar 26, 2013
Photo by: Kari Curtis PENNY PINCHERS—Fifth graders joined their kindergarten friends to roll  and count pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters to help fight cancer.

Every once in a while somebody brings up the topic of eliminating the penny, but the one-cent coin turns out to be a very valuable commodity in the fight against certain cancers.

Every year in March, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society launches its “Pennies For Patients” program, during which pennies, dimes, quarters and, yes, even some folding money is raised to fund research and assist families impacted by disease. Since 2006, pupils at Block Island School have participated in the annual program, having raised a total of $4,023.14.

“Their mission is to cure blood-borne cancers and to improve the life of patients,” said kindergarten teacher Debbie Hart, about the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Hart coordinates the Block Island chapter of the program.

This year, the students would like to raise $600, according to Hart, and with a week to go they’re about $400 short of their goals. Anyone and everyone is invited to drop by the school through Friday, March 29 to help out. “We accept larger donations, too,” said Hart, who also said that if anyone couldn’t make it over to the school she’d be happy to “make a house call” to pick up the donation.

Almost $29 million was raised nationally last year, Hart said.

Hart said she was especially grateful to the staff at Washington Trust bank, which donates their time to assist with the “Pennies For Patients” program.

“They are very supportive of us. They count the change and cut a check to the Lymphoma Society. They’re very generous with their time,” Hart said.

Anyone seeking more information or wanting to make a donation can contact Hart at

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