SLEEPY HOLLOW, N.Y. -- A fundraising war between the classes at Sleepy Hollow High School during Spirit Week in September ended with $3,116 being donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Hudson Valley to help grant wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.
This is the second year in a row the school held “Penny Wars” during Spirit Week, said Bonnie Berry, the secretary to the school’s principal and advisor to the student government. It was a 70 percent increase over last year’s total of $1837.81, which also went to Make-A-Wish Foundation of Hudson Valley.
Berry noted that students brought in loose change or donated whatever they had left over at the end of the day.
Sleepy Hollow High School has about 900 students.
Penny Wars was based on points, not on the value of the money. Each grade got its own collection containers. Every penny was given one point, and each silver coin or bill reduced the number of points from a container by the amount of the coin (e.g. a nickel reduced the points by five, a dime by 10, a dollar by 100).
In the end, the freshman class won, earning the power to choose where the money would be donated. Berry said the class decided to stay with Make-A-Wish Foundation of Hudson Valley. “They just felt a connection to it. We like to keep it local, but they were allowed to choose any organization.”
Sleepy Hollow High’s student government, along with Berry, visited the Make-A-Wish Foundation to present a check on Dec. 7. They learned about the foundation and heard stories from those whose lives have been positively impacted by the altruism of others.
Regarding the increase in donations, Berry said the students were “really, really happily surprised. You never really know how much is going to be raised until the end.”
And they plan to do it again next year, she said. “It’s pretty exciting for them.”