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Holderness Central School Students Raise Funds for KYMMA

Holderness Central School Students Raise Funds for KYMMA

Reprinted from Plymouth Record Enterprise

April 27, 2017 by DONNA RHODES (

HOLDERNESS - The fourth and fifth grade Student Council at Holderness Central School presented the staff and student body with a unique fundraising challenge this year to raise money for "Keeping You, Me and Memories Alive," a local nonprofit organization which supports families affected by cancer.

KYMMA's primary fundraiser, "A Day to Fight Cancer," began in 1999 through the efforts of Plymouth State University student Melissa Merrill who lost her mother to breast cancer. In cooperation with the students, staff and faculty at PSU, Merrill helped found KYMMA that year to help other local residents facing the many challenges brought on by a diagnosis of cancer.

Two of the Student Council members, Kelina and Brevyn, are all too familiar with the assistance that KYMMA provides people since both of their mothers are involved in the organization. When the Council was asked what nonprofit group they would like to support this year, the two immediately thought of KYMMA.

"They couldn't do their big fundraising walk this year, so we all decided it would be good to raise money to help them out," said Kelina.

Janna Swanson is the Guidance Councilor at HCS and said each year she helps the students put together both a school and then a community fundraising project.

"This was a great choice because KYMMA is local and supports local families with gift cards for gas, medical supplies, bills and other needs families facing cancer may have," she said.

In order to raise money for the organization the council decided to create a "Students versus Staff" competition to see which of the two groups could collect the most donations. Principal William VanBennekum provided them with two old globes he found stored away at the school. He then cut slots in each of them to create global "piggy banks" for students and staff to drop off their donations over the course of the challenge.

Inspired by the globes, the motto of the fundraiser became "Changing the World One Coin at a Time."

Over the course of two weeks, students and staff brought loose change and even a few dollar bills to school. Members of the Student Council then collected those donations and deposited them through the slot of the appropriate globes, which were set up in the front lobby.

"It's been kind of like a race to see who wins," said Brevyn.

Last Friday was not only Pajama Day for their Literacy Week celebration, it also meant the end of the goodhearted competition and Guidance Intern Erica Stickel prepared to haul the globes off to Meredith Village Savings Bank where the money would be counted and the winner determined.

"I know we won. You can't even pick up our globe," said one excited council member. That is yet to be seen, however, and VanBennekum kindly reminded them that dollar bills don't weigh as much as coins.

"Who knows what's inside the staff globe? There could be all kinds of dollar bills," he teased.

While the final tally wasn't available from the bank before students left for their weeklong Spring vacation, they'll soon learn the results on May 1 when school is back in session.

The truth of the matter is that the winner of this year's community fundraising competition is neither the students nor staff; it's the local people who will benefit from their generosity.

"The kids did so much with this project. It was really impressive," VanBennekum said.

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