Pasta for Pennies: Students in Wisconsin raise more than $130K for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

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BROOKFIELD (WITI) – More than 60,548 students throughout Wisconsin pooled together their pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters to raise more than $134,195 through Pasta for Pennies, presented by Olive Garden and benefiting The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS).

Thanks to the efforts of students nationwide, $10.1 million was raised through Pasta for Pennies during the 2013-14 school year, bringing the total raised since 1994 to more than $90 million.

Spare change raised through Pasta for Pennies helps fund blood cancer research and provides much needed services and support to leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma patients and their families.

In Wisconsin, students at 127 elementary, middle and high schools filled collection jars and boxes in their classrooms with spare change over a three-week period. The top fundraising class at each participating school received a pasta party from their local Olive Garden restaurant.

“The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is moving closer to a cure because of fundraising events like Pasta for Pennies,” Shannon Garcia, Olive Garden senior vice president of operations. “These students and their teachers are making a difference in so many lives and we applaud their efforts.”

The top fundraising schools in Wisconsin include:

  • Onalaska Middle School in Onalaska with $5,269.08 collected
  • Oak Creek East Middle School in Oak Creek with $4,731.41
  • Union Grove High School in Union Grove with $4,105

“We are grateful for the outpouring of generosity that made this year’s Pasta for Pennies campaign such a success,” said Mike Havlicek, executive director of the LLS Wisconsin Chapter. “With the efforts of these students, parents and teachers, and with Olive Garden as a valued partner, we are able to move closer to our goal of a cure to end blood cancers.”

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society ® (LLS) is the world’s largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer.

The LLS mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. LLS funds lifesaving blood cancer research around the world and provides free information and support services. Founded in 1949 and headquartered in White Plains, NY, LLS has chapters throughout the United States and Canada.