WVU wins Penny Wars

Campaign raises $12,000 to help cancer patients

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University has beaten the University of Cincinnati hands down in the Penny Wars, a friendly competition to see which school would collect more loose change for its cancer center.  WVU raised more than $12,000 during the campaign compared with its rival’s $1,000.

“We owe the success of this campaign to the extraordinary generosity of our many friends and partners in the community,” said Jame Abraham, M.D., chief of hematology/oncology at WVU and medical director of the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center.  “In spite of tough economic times they were determined to help cancer patients, and I cannot thank them enough for their overwhelming support.”

WVU’s collection will go to the Comfort Fund at the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center.  The fund provides patients being treated at the Cancer Center with temporary, short-term financial assistance until they can be linked with appropriate community, state or national resources.  Each dollar received goes directly to helping meet cancer patients’ needs.

The $1,000 raised at UC will be used for patient care at the UC Barrett Cancer Institute at University Hospital in Cincinnati.  “Our total was a little disappointing, but we had a lot of fun and learned an effective method for raising money,” said Jenny Dilbert, coordinator for the Cincinnati Cancer Consortium.  “We raised the bulk of our donations in one day when our Bearcat mascot greeted passersby in front of the downtown Huntington Bank.”

The fundraising campaign ran for 30 days during February and March.   Coin collection bins were placed around the two schools and at area businesses including the Boston Beanery’s two Morgantown restaurants, Bead Monster, Cool Ridge Collections, the Book Exchange and the Barnes & Noble WVU Bookstore.  The Beanery restaurants also sponsored a “Belly Up For Comfort” event that raised more than $3,000 in one night.

Student groups at WVU and local public school students – including those at South Middle School, Suncrest Primary, and Cheat Lake, Mountainview, and Easton Elementary Schools –  supported Penny Wars through their own fundraising efforts.   Additional support came from Huntington Bank and Sugar Grove Church.

West Virginia University beat the University of Pittsburgh last year, the first year of the Penny Wars.  The campaign has raised about $30,000 to benefit cancer patients at WVU over the past two years.



For more information:
Andrea Brunais, HSC News Service, 304-293-7087

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