‘Pennies for Patients’ raises money through February

Students play 3v3 basketball in the gym during lunch. The tournament lasted two days. The first day every team was guaranteed to play and the second day was for the semifinals and final, junior vice president Valeria Lopez said.
Students play 3v3 basketball in the gym during lunch. The tournament lasted two days. “The first day every team was guaranteed to play and the second day was for the semifinals and final,” junior vice president Valeria Lopez said.
Courtesy Valeria Lopez

The 2023-2024 school year marks another WJ year of fundraising for the worldwide cancer research organization, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS). LLS consists of a group of researchers striving to find a cure for blood cancer.

Within the leadership class, students divided themselves into each event. While the grand total and a select number of activities total raised is yet to be determined, leadership students reflect on the planning, organizing and execution process.


A WJ P4P favorite started on Feb. 1 with senior Dalton Orsak, Reese Fainbraun, junior McKenna Onder and sibling duos freshman Elise and senior Sylvie Bergoffen, and sophomore Alex and Natalya Krouse being flocked.

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Flocking is done first by leadership students picking upon random classmates to flock the individuals, or siblings, yard. As the sun goes down the team goes to the select students house and sticks a yard full of plastic pink flamingos, hence the name, “flocking”.

To “unflock” yourself you are given a piece of paper to fill out encouraging the students family to donate to P4P. The student(s) who got flocked then got to pick another student in their grade to flock next.

Mario Kart:

Mario Kart was held in room 147 during lunch on Feb 21. After playing the $5 obligation, students picked their character and would multi-play against other competitors.

“Before the event we had made posters and hung them around the school to advertise. Although it was a low turnout it was still a fun time playing against each other. After everyone chose their character we played about five rounds,” senior leadership student Dalton Orsak said.

Mario Kart has always been loved by WJ students as it brings back memories for many playing when they were younger. This event raised a total of $15.

Basketball 3v3:

This year to join the basketball 3v3 tournament each player had to pay $5 and spectators were able to watch at no cost. The event was held on Feb 26.

“I was in charge of planning the basketball tournament alongside juniors Mane Torosyan, Bella Relacion and Zein Saleh. We used the main gym during lunch… and had 8 teams of 3 participate,” junior Vice President Valeria Lopez said. “The first day every team was guaranteed to play and the second day was for the semifinals and final. We had groups of all grades and it was honestly really fun, even as a spectator.”

This was one of the bigger events leadership held bringing in a total of around $150.

Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?:

This year Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? was a new addition to the fundraising events. The game was held Jeopardy style but questions were categorized by school subject and by grade. Shown through a Google Slides presentation each slide had a question on it.

“The turnout was good! We had around 20-25 people. I thought it was pretty fun and seemed to be enjoyed by most/all of the participants,” senior leadership student Adam Dincin said.

Bringing in around $80-100 the event charged $5 per person to join or in a group, $20.

Burrito Mile:

A popular event in the Burrito Mile returned this year.

“…participants are timed to eat a burrito then run a mile, the participants with the three fastest times got a prize,” Nsoga-Mahob said.

The committee started to plan around January and each member was assigned a specific task to plan. Students paid $5 to run and $3 to spectate.

“The turnout was great, there were a lot more spectators this year than last,” junior leadership student Candice Nsoga-Mahob said.

This year the first-place winner went to junior Timmy Gaul, running it in around seven minutes. Gaul was given the choice of a gift card or a tortilla blanket and chose the blanket.

This was another highly successful event for P4P, bringing in around $200.

Candy Grams:

The fun Valentine-themed event, Candy Grams, allowed those to send a gift to either their friend or loved one. The Candy Grams were sold separately. If you wanted to buy the gram it was $1 and the added candy was an extra $2.

“The concept of candy grams…was for students to be able to surprise their friends with a cute little gift…having P4P being in February felt perfect to spread love around Valentine’s Day…also the cards being anonymous too made it more interesting,” sophomore secretary Mya Andria said.

The Candy Grams were distributed during fourth period and in total raised $80.

Small Games:

Small games were held in the Student Commons at lunch on Feb 16 where individuals with friends could come and play a series of games including eating a donut on a sting, where to participate students paid $1, and an Oreo face race contest, at $2.

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