For the fourth year in a row, area schools have teamed up to help raise funds and awareness for Akron Children's Hospital. By bringing in change every morning, funds are raised to help the hospital treat less fortunate children. To date the program has brought in $80,000, with $30,000 being raised last year alone.
"That is an incredible amount of money for the first three years of the campaign, especially when most of the donations were nickles, dimes and quarters," said Handel's Chief Operating Officer James J. Brown in a letter to the schools. Handel's has helped get the campaign off and running.
At C.H. Campbell and Hilltop Elementary, the program is once again going strong as well. Every morning, the students bring in spare change and drop it into a plastic bin, which is emptied and taken to Farmer's National Bank to be counted and deposited.
Photos by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
Hilltop Elementary School fourth-graders Conor Hritz, Ty Schaab, Hannah Kelly, and Haley Tisone drop their coins in the basket to support needy children under the Koins for Kids campaign to raise funds for Akron Children’s Hospital.
"The bank is helping us out by waiving the normal counting fees," said Hilltop Principal Cathy Mowry.
She said last year, Hilltop came in second with $1,631.31 raised. This year, no one knows how close the school will come to breaking that record until after Dec. 7 and the final count. Last year the first place school in the Valley was C.H. Campbell.
As they raced toward the final count, Hilltop students were enjoying a little friendly competition. Part of the program includes receiving a cutout snowman that the student can put his or her name on. Some schools use the snowmen top decorate trees or hallways to remind kids of their caring spirit. At Hilltop, the snowmen are being used in a different way.
Each student who donates to the bin gets a cutout snowman. They fill out their name, then place it on one of the school library windows. Each large glass window was decorated by a PTA mom and the snowmen are used to fill it in.
"We call it our winter wonderland," Mowry said.
Early on, second and third grades seemed to be in a tie for the lead in covering the window with white, but that can all change day by day.
"Last week, the kindergarten seemed to be winning," Mowry said.
Fourth-grader Hannah Kelly said the competition if fun, but she realizes it is more than winning a game.
"It doesn't feel like I am just bringing coins in to give to the school," Kelly said. "It feels like I am actually helping someone."
After Dec. 7, the numbers of all the participating grade schools will be tallied and the top performing school from each county, based on percentage collected versus school enrollment, will receive an ice cream social plus a DJ to be used for a school dance or other activity.