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Dodge Middle School students raise money for lymphoma research

The Dodge Middle School student council organized the recent penny wars, which raised more than $1,900 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Not too long ago, students at Dodge Middle School learned the power of the penny.

The DMS student council held a "penny war" Dec. 4-7, in order to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. In penny wars, pennies cancel out silver coins and paper money. The object, student council advisor Kirsten Wallevand said, is to bring in more cash and silver coins than there are pennies.

That's sometimes easier said than done.

Each grade at DMS took collections. A competition was held between the classes in each grade. Each penny donated canceled out the one piece of silver or dollar bill. After four days of collecting change, the school had earned $1,925.11 for lymphoma research.

Kathy Auge's class won the contest for the sixth grade. In seventh grade, Chase Hillesheim's class was the winner. The eighth grade winning class belonged to Tara Michlitsch.

"One boy brought in $80 of pennies," Wallevand said. "That's why Hillescheim's class won. He brought in that $80 in pennies."

The winning classes each got an ice cream party as a prize. But Wallevand said the fundraiser also helped students to realize just how easy it is to help others - in some cases, just spare change can do a lot of good.

"What's fun is the visible, concrete example of what they have raised," she said.

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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