Pennies for Patients drive full of winning moments

Watertown Middle School has raised more than $28,000 so far this year for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

Highlights+from+this+year%E2%80%99s+Pennies+for+Patients+fund-raising+drive+included+Friday+Fun+Day+%28with+a+chocolate+fountain+and+Minion+cupcakes%29%2C+Mrs.+Shock%27s+purple+hair%2C+the+rummage+sale%2C+Family+Skating+Night%2C+and+the+student-faculty+basketball+rematch+at+Watertown+High.
Highlights from this year’s Pennies for Patients fund-raising drive included Friday Fun Day (with a chocolate fountain and Minion cupcakes), Mrs. Shock's purple hair, the rummage sale, Family Skating Night, and the student-faculty basketball rematch at Watertown High.

Highlights from this year’s Pennies for Patients fund-raising drive included Friday Fun Day (with a chocolate fountain and Minion cupcakes), Mrs. Shock's purple hair, the rummage sale, Family Skating Night, and the student-faculty basketball rematch at Watertown High.

Highlights from this year’s Pennies for Patients fund-raising drive included Friday Fun Day (with a chocolate fountain and Minion cupcakes), Mrs. Shock's purple hair, the rummage sale, Family Skating Night, and the student-faculty basketball rematch at Watertown High.

JULIA F., MELANNE G., and BANDNA K.

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“Holy smokes, time’s running out!”

That was Mr. Oates’s thought process during overtime of the student-faculty basketball rematch on March 13.

The annual game at Watertown High School is one of the many fun fund-raisers held by the Watertown Middle School during the Pennies for Patients fund-raising drive each year. 

The eighth-graders were leading in overtime, 64-63, when Mr. Oates got the ball near his own basket. Thinking there were only a few seconds left, he threw up the final shot of the game.

It wasn’t just any shot though, it was from beyond half court shot from half court. The students’ bench had tricked him into thinking there was less time than there really was, pressuring him to shoot the ball.

“I was thinking that there was a less than 1 percent chance of the shot going in.” he said.

Mr. Oates saw the perfect opportunity to shoot. It went in for a 66-64 victory. Seeing the ball enter the hoop and winning the game, Mr. Oates said he was “flat-out shocked.”

“Jeremy’s face was worth it all,” he said about the crowd’s reaction to his amazing shot.

The Pennies for Patients drive is a time when teachers are getting pies thrown at their faces, a Kindle Fire and an iPad are being raffled, and, most importantly, people are raising money for the charity.

Pennies For Patients is a month-long fund-raiser at Watertown Middle School held each year to raise money to find a cure for blood cancers.

Students took home small yellow boxes to collect spare change. Other students can take big white cardboard collection boxes to leave at restaurants, businesses, and any other public area. That money will be added to the whole school total and eventually help a lot of people.

This is the 11th year that WMS has participated in Pennies for Patients. The fund-raising drive began Feb. 24.

According to sixth-grade teacher Eleanor Donato recently, more than $28,000 has been raised thus far, with a few events, like the April 12 school dance, to come.

According to Principal Kimo Carter, last year WMS raised a school-record $30,866.25, which was the fourth-highest amount among 28,000 schools. In the first 10 years of Pennies for Patients, WMS collected more than $228,000.

What do you think of when you hear the word “fund-raiser”? Money, bake sales, yard sales, right? Well, there were many different fund-raisers this year, including the dodgeball tournament, Family Skating Night, and Friday Fun Day.

The eighth-grade leadership class is selling T-shirts designed by a WMS student. The shirt says “Pennies for Patients” on the front, as well as some pennies stacked up high. On the back is “WMS” and an eagle, the school’s mascot. The shirt is purple to show the support of the cause.

“I think it’s a great way to promote the fund-raiser, as well as show our support,” says Catherine Papayannopoulos, a student in leadership class, who designed the shirt.

She met with the owner Paul DerBoghosian of Graphic Connections in Watertown, and he was able to give the school a great deal. Without him, Catherine says, the leadership class wouldn’t have been able to get this done.

The students also met with Ryan, who works at the Mount Auburn Street store, and they were able to design a T-shirt that would sell well.

“Graphic Connections helped majorly with this fund-raiser and we could not have done it without them,” says Catherine.

T-shirts will be sold for $10 apiece. Sizes are small, medium, large, XL, and XXL.

Teachers love doing things for Pennies for Patients, such as math teacher Jane Evans. Ms. Evans held the second annual rummage sale at Watertown Middle School on March 1.

“It’s a super worthy cause, so many people are affected,’’ she said. “I am also doing this because my dad died from leukemia when he was 57 years old.

“The rummage sale is fun! It helps Pennies for Patients. It also helps the community by providing other peoples things to some people who might need them. It’s also an opportunity for kids to do community service.”

At the rummage sale, there were tables from WMS homerooms, and the money that each homeroom makes went to the homeroom total. There was also a bake sale.

A lot of other teachers are helping with the fund-raising. On March 6, Ms. MacAulay’s homeroom held a 3-point contest after school. In this contest, people shot 3-pointers and the person who made the most won a gift card. The entry fee was $3.

(To make a donation to Pennies for Patients, please visit Watertown Middle School during regular school hours. For questions or information on how to help, please contact Eleanor Donato at 617-926-7783 x35507 or [email protected])

 

–April 2, 2014–

 

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