Students collecting coins for cancer

Third-grader Jordan Williams holding one of the 27 piggy bank she popularized at Fairview Elementary School last February during a coin drive. Jordan, who will be 9 on Sunday, Feb. 19, is being treated for leukemia. Three other Bloomfield schools have agreed to join the drive. With Jordan is teacher Deana Scura.

BLOOMFIELD, NJ — A Bloomfield elementary school coin drive during the month of February has returned this year with three more schools participating.
Started by resident and parent Milly Realz, the collection was only at Fairview Elementary School last year where Realz’s daughter, Jordan Williams, was a student.

Realz had received permission from Fairview Principal Sal DeSimone to begin the collection. It supported an organization that benefited families whose children were cancer patients. Jordan had been diagnosed with a form of leukemia in February 2015. She will be 9 on Feb. 19.

The organization receiving the collection from Fairview was Fighting Children’s Cancer Foundation. Fairview children collected $1,500 in coins that had been deposited in homeroom piggy banks provided by the foundation. The homeroom that raised the most money, Jordan’s as it turned out, was treated to a pizza party. Fairview will support the same organization this year.

The additional schools participating this year are Bloomfield High School, Bloomfield Middle School and Watsessing Elementary.

Realz said she sent emails to all Bloomfield school principals. She heard back from the four that agreed.
“I think if each school can reach $1,000 this year, that would be great,” she said.
The middle school will be having the coin drive in March. The money collected will go to the Emmanuel Cancer Foundation.

Watsessing will collect coins this month. Teacher Pam Catalano is coordinating the effort.

“Watsessing School will be collecting loose change from students and families by having a piggy bank in almost every classroom,” she said in an email. “In two to four weeks, these piggy banks will be collected and the money within will be donated to the Valerie Fund.”

The money from the high school drive will be given to Friends of Karen. Principal Chris Jennings said his students will not be using piggy banks.
“The Key Club is hosting a bake sale and ‘tape the teacher’ as fundraising events with proceeds going to the cause,” he said in an email. “Students will purchase pieces of extra strong tape for $1 and literally tape a teacher to the wall. The teacher starts out standing on a chair but by the end they are held to the wall with the tape. We do this during lunch periods.”

Realz is happy that the high school and the middle schools have bother signed on to the effort.

She said the piggy banks the Valerie Fund dropped off at Watsessing were too small. Instead, she came by with 13 boxes for the collection. But now she understands the teachers will donate new piggy banks.


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