CLARK — From March 28-April 15, Valley Road School in Clark participated in the Pennies for Patients fundraiser, raising over $10,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Last year, Valley Road School’s fundraising efforts ranked sixth out of 900 schools in New Jersey. Through the prior four years, Valley Road School has raised over $20,000 for this charity and this year, they added $10,080.76 to their grand total.
Out of more than 800 schools in New Jersey, Valley Road School came in fourth overall. As a result, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is bringing Dance, Dance Revolution to the school as a thank you. This was a collaborative effort between teachers, parents, students, administration, and the community.
Valley Road School held many different activities to help them reach their goal. The Windsor Diner on Raritan Road was involved in this fundraiser for the second year in a row. Clark residents were asked to dine there on a specific night and then the diner donated 10 percent of their profits from that night to Pennies for Patients on behalf of Valley Road School. There was also a Friday Fun Night at school, where students could do crafts, watch a movie, play Wii dance games, or sing karaoke. The students also had several fundraisers during school, including Hats off to Cancer, Adult Dress-up Day, and Team Up Against Leukemia.
This year, the newest and most successful event was Valley Road School’s first ever Read-a-Thon. Students asked family members and friends to make pledges for the amount of pages they could read in a half-hour. Then in school, the entire student body sat and read silently or was read a story by a teacher. Students then collected those pledge donations for a total of more than $5,000! This is now a new tradition at Valley Road.
VRS Idol, a talent show that began last year, raised over $1,000 to contribute to Valley Road School’s grand total. “The best part about this event,” said Miss Spirito, a fifth grade teacher and co-advisor for Student Council, “was seeing how supported all of the students were of each other. They came together, forgot that they were competing, and really had a great time! We are all so proud of them!” The winner was the youngest competitor in the competition, Joe Walsh, a kindergartener, who sang “I Gotta Feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas.
The school hopes to raise even more for this fundraiser next year and help even more people with leukemia and lymphoma. For information regarding local programs and services of the New Jersey Chapter of The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society or to make a donation, call 1-908-956-6644 or visit www.LLS.org/nj.
Joseph Walsh, a kindergartner from Mrs. White’s class at Valley Road School, took first place in the VRS Idol, singing and dancing to “I Gotta Feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas. (Photo courtesy of Clark Public Schools)
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