Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda, MD, has participated in the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Pennies for Patients campaign for 12 years! They participate in this program to bring awareness to the patient programs and medical breakthroughs that LLS is contributing to. For the last 6 years Walter Johnson has consistently raised more than $30,000 each year and finished their 2016 High School Challenge competition at $35,115.59.
The entire student body, staff and community gets involved with the campaign. From learning about blood cancers and the importance of helping others to taking leadership roles in planning fundraising events, everyone is touched by the campaign. The students have a great time working hard to donate money toward this important cause while also having fun! Noteworthy fundraising events this year included their dance party, WJ Glo, and first-ever WJ Fest featuring both local and national musicians. This year Walter Johnson took first place in the inaugural Holt Weeks Trailblazers Challenge for this music fest event! During High School Challenge month, the school participates against other top schools in the community in the Holt Weeks Trailblazers Challenge.
The Challenge is held in memory of Holt, a class of 2007 graduate, and his brother Stone, who dedicated their lives to making the world a better place. The Stone and Holt Weeks Foundation challenges students to think outside the box and work together to create a sustainable event that engages the school community in the mission of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The winner is awarded the Holt Weeks Trailblazers Cup as well as a donation of $1,000 to be added to their fundraising total. This year, two runner-up schools also received $500 donations.
The students look forward to this campaign every year, and especially look forward to helping children fight cancer. The school is very excited to have donated $387,466 overall and plans to continue funding the fight against blood cancers with LLS.