Pasta for Pennies campaign continues; collection week gears up

The school is rallying together to save lives.

National Honor Society will be raising money February 6-10 during the Pasta for Pennies Class Collections campaign. While it is only the society’s 16th year doing the fundraiser, Mason High School has been doing class collections for over 20 years. Co-advisor Barb Shuba said proceeds from the week’s competition go to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society for childhood cancer research.

“Everything that we generate goes back to the Leukemia & Lymphoma organization, which is to promote childhood cancer education and research, ” Shuba said. “(Class collections) pit class against class, and the winning class gets and Olive Garden luncheon. The main reason for that is that the owner of Olive Garden’s son or daughter has Leukemia, and that’s his way of giving back to the organization.”

Every year, Shuba said students and faculty donate approximately $30,000 throughout the entire Pasta for Pennies campaign. Last year, NHS was able to raise over $60,000, but almost half of the proceeds came from their Lip Dub, which brought in donations from outside sources, including other countries, but Shuba said the society will not have the Lip Dub as a source of donations this year.

Co-advisor Deedee Messer said they don’t set dollar amount goals for fundraisers like this, because they do not want to take away from its underlying purpose.

“We never have a dollar amount (goal), because we never want to focus on the money as the main reason behind what we’re doing,” Messer said. “We tell the kids that we just want all of our events to be successful, we want students to have fun that are participating in those events, and whatever dollar amount we come up with is what we come up with that year.”

Senior co-chair Sharanya Vojjala said the money from last year was able to save a life, and she hopes that the app created last year will help bring in proceeds this year.

“Last year with the money that we got, we saved one kid’s life with the money that we raised, ” Vojjala said. “This year we have an app that students can download to check their standings and download on the website. It’ll just help our school in the competition (and raise more money for)  cancer research.”

Senior Emily Wang said the Pasta for Pennies app compiles information from a server into a database and displays it so students can see where their classes and pods stand in the competition.

“The app pulls all the information from a server, and what I have to do daily is update the information for how much money each teacher or classroom raised,” Wang said. “From there, (the database) compiles the information into how much each pod makes and that kind of stuff, and the app pulls all the information from the server and shows you.”

Wang said that the competition aspect that the app adds to the fundraiser will encourage student donations.

“It does act as a motivator for people who are donating because they can see (other classes) and be like ‘Oh wait, I want to beat that class,’” Wang said. “(It’s used to help students) donate more by making it a competition.”

Vojjala said she is most excited to hear how much of an impact the proceeds will make and to see NHS members and students come together to support a good cause.

“I’m really excited because the whole school comes together for a really good cause,” Vojjala said. “It’s really great to see all these NHS members going out to each of the classrooms, and all of these kids are really excited to donate. After seeing the end result, they tell us how all the money helped people, and it’s really neat to see all of that.”

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