WVU challenges University of Cincinnati to benefit cancer patients

Penny Wars campaign begins Feb. 23

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University will challenge the University of Cincinnati in friendly competition to help raise money for each school’s cancer center.  From Feb. 23 to March 23, WVU and UC will engage in Penny Wars to see which school collects more loose change.

WVU initiated the campaign last year with the University of Pittsburgh and raised $18,000 for WVU’s Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center, compared with Pitt’s $7,500 for the Hillman Cancer Center.

WVU’s collection goes to the Cancer Center’s comfort fund.  This fund provides patients with short-term financial assistance.  Patients often experience a financial emergency during their illness.  The fund may assist with medications, hotel stays, gas cards or grocery store needs.

“We use the money raised from Penny Wars to help reduce the financial stress that many patients and their families experience while dealing with a cancer diagnosis,” said Jennifer Craddock, social worker at the Cancer Center.  “So many individuals who are diagnosed with cancer are without insurance or have high co-pays for needed medications.  Our comfort fund helps those folks obtain needed prescriptions until help can be put in place with national organizations or free pharmaceutical programs. The fund also helps those folks who are driving five hours for treatment fill their tank for the trip home.”

Coin collection containers will be set up at area businesses, including the Boston Beanery, Book Exchange, Bead Monster, Cool Ridge, Kroger, MountaineerZone and the WVGameDay.com store.  Collection containers will also be placed around WVU, including places such as the HSC cafeteria, the HSC café, the HSC WVU bookstore and the Book Exchange.  Huntington Bank is the official sponsor of Penny Wars.

Also as part of the Penny Wars campaign, Boston Beanery is hosting Belly-up for Comfort at its Morgantown restaurants on Feb. 25 from 6 p.m. to10 p.m.  The event will feature live music, hometown celebrity bartenders, roving appetizers and drink specials.  A dollar from each drink purchased will go to the comfort fund.  Items donated by local businesses will also be auctioned off.  Penny Wars t-shirts will be available to purchase that evening just in time for the WVU and UC men’s basketball game in Cincinnati on Feb. 26.  

Students at South Middle School are participating in their own Penny War.  Classes have placed coin collection containers in their homerooms and are competing against each other.  “Each penny received counts as one positive point, while all other coins and dollars count as negative points,” said Sue Heydon, assistant school principal.  “The competition is getting very intense as the students sabotage each others’ totals.”

The WVU Mountaineer has recorded public service announcements for radio and television to encourage Mountaineer fans to support Penny Wars.



For more information:
Amy Johns, HSC News Service, 304-293-7087
ss/js: 02-18-09

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