Pasta for Pennies is an annual fund-raiser that has been going on since 1994. This drive, which links the Italian food chain, Olive Garden, and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, has raised more than $36 million in the past 13 years. This year the record was broke by the elementary and high school students who participate in this program. They were able to raise a record $5.2 million, according to an Olive Garden press release.
Students are encouraged to participate each year by collecting spare change and depositing it in collection jars located in the classroom. The event lasts three weeks. At the end of the program the classroom, from each participating school, that raised the most donations celebrates with a pasta party. The refreshments are served by one of the local Olive Garden’s in the area. The money raised in the drive is used for research initiatives and services for patients and families.
The report quoted the president of Olive Garden, Dave Pickens. “These students continue to have a profound impact on their community with their commitment and dedication to Pasta for Pennies. We celebrate this great achievement of raising $5.2 million with them.” Pickens also said, “Their passion for this program is truly inspiring.”
So which school had the most spare change to donate in the Pasta for Pennies Fundraiser? That would be Orange High School in Orange, California with a whopping $39,498.25. Princeton High School in Cincinnati came in a close second with $39,092. In Downey, CA, Downey High School raised $33,375.77. Rounding out the top four is Woodward Academy in College Park, GA collecting $22,000.
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is broke down into 68 local chapters thru-out the United States and Canada. This year, it was the Greater Los Angeles Chapter that led the way in donations. With 131 schools participating in the program, they were able to raise an astounding $413,589.85.
The Society’s President and CEO, Dwayne Howell, was quoted in the report, as saying, ” Olive Garden’s Pasta For Pennies rallies students across the country to join us in our commitment to fight blood cancers and provide assistance to our patients and their families. The $5.2 million raised by these dedicated students will help us to continue to make advances in the search for cures and to provide information and support to patients and their families so they have the best possible outcomes throughout their cancer experience.
We really appreciate all of the support Olive Garden and these students have given us over the years.”
For more information about The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, you can log onto the site at www.LLS.org.
Source: PR Newswire, Spare Change Adds Up To a Record $5.2 Million for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society