News>North Plains Elementary's Third Annual "Penny War" Battle against Cancer a tremendous success
MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- Master Sgt. Lori Ehlo, Relay for Life Champion and Cancer survivor Michelle Betz and daughter Madyson, Principle Strand, 1st Lt. Ron Sears and Capt. Julia Focht-- the group contributed to this year’s fight against cancer during the third Annual Penny War Competition at the North Plains Elementary School. In total this year, the North Plains Elementary School raised $1,910 notably beating 2011’s total of $1,421.14. (Courtesy photo)
MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- Mrs. Thorlakson's 4th grade class here was awarded for "Most Money" raised towards the fight against cancer during the North Plains Elementary School's third Annual Penny War Competition. (Courtesy photo)
MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- Mrs. Richardson's 1st grade class crowned 2012 "Penny War" champions during the North Plains Elementary School's third Annual Penny War Competition which was held in support of the fight against cancer. (Courtesy photo)
6/6/2012 - MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- Minot Air Force Base's very own North Plains Elementary strikes yet another blow towards the fight against cancer by sponsoring their third Annual Penny War Competition.
Last year's week-long war went a long way in supporting the American Cancer Society and this year proved no different. The 2012 Cancer research fundraising event led by Michelle Betz, 5th Medical Group pharmacy technician, Relay for Life champion and Cancer survivor, was yet another mind-blowing success.
For those unfamiliar, Relay for Life is the world's largest movement against cancer. Every year, millions of people gather together to remember those they have lost, celebrate those who have survived, and raise money towards finding a cure.
The 2012 fundraising battle took place in the same small classrooms filled with the same big hearts but with loads more pennies. For those who don't know, in the penny war scenario, the objective is to collect as many points as possible. This is achieved when participants place their copper coins, valued at one point apiece, into their classroom war chest, with the hopes of accumulating the highest total points by week's end. Counter-attacks are made by enemy forces placing silver coins and or dollars into competing jars thereby subtracting a rival's penny point gain.
Once again, the competitive and giving spirit of North Plains students left piggy banks abandoned of their copper quarry and local banks dishing out their own penny supplies. At midweek, the students were placing dollar bills into their own war chests with tiny notes attached asking that their greenbacks be counted as pennies. By week's end, Michelle found herself and a few others toting over 600 pounds of coin, greenbacks, and checks to Minot AFB's Wells Fargo Bank for the final count.
In total, North Plains Elementary raised -- drum roll please... $1,910 notably beating 2011's total of $1,421.14. The 2012 Penny War victory went to Ms. Richardson's 1st grade class. The award for highest dollar amount raised belongs to Ms. Thorlaksen's 4th grade students. Both classes were awarded their very own pizza party. Courtesy of Principle Strand, all 315 students received a Root-Beer Float for their participation and selfless contributions.
"When Wells Fargo completed the 2012 count, I was in disbelief and amazed North Plains surpassed the 2011 count by almost 35 percent," said Betz. "Once again, despite economic woes, climbing gas prices and cost of living increases; the children, parents and teachers opened their hearts, dug deep and helped continue the fight against cancer. Their generosity always brings tears to my eyes."
Michelle would like to give special thanks to North Plains' principle Mr. Strand, his staff, members of the Wells Fargo Bank, Master Sgt. Lori Ehlo, of the 5th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, the 5th MDG's Senior Airman Santiago, Capt. Jason Focht, 1st Lt. Ronald Sears, and their supervisors who supported the commitment and dedication to this very worthy cause.