Washington, D.C. - The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's (LLS) High School Challenge has come to a close with 15 local high schools raising more than $210,000. This unique four-week competition ran from February 4 to March 1, and encouraged students to think outside the box to develop leadership and fundraising skills in support of the LLS mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families.
For the first time in eight years, Walt Whitman High School received top honors bringing in a grand total of $91,761.76. Between numerous events that engaged members of Montgomery County, the school was able to fundraise an incredible $40,000 more than the previous year. Walter Johnson High School, last year's top school, is the 2013 runner-up having raised more than $80,000. Special honors also go to the top fundraising school in Northern Virginia, Osbourn Park High School, and the top fundraising school in Prince George's County, Frederick Douglass High School.
The top two schools will be rewarded next month with a pep rally to commemorate the record-breaking year. Hot 99.5 will emcee the events and give away promotional items to thank the students for their hard work and tremendous efforts. Pennies For Patients Honorary Co-Chairs Cynné Simpson of ABC7/WJLA-TV and Chris Pontius of D.C. United will also share in honoring these students with dates pending confirmation.
Walt Whitman High School's Pennies For Patients student leader, Valerie Acker, attributes the school's success this year to their increased commitment to the mission and determination to achieve top honors. "In the past few years, we have drastically increased our fundraising efforts by adding new events, such as RedRush 5K and bRAVE Dance-a-thon, as well as reaching out to the Whitman community. Students were driven by the healthy competition with Walter Johnson, but more importantly, were determined to go above and beyond in honor of Tim King, Marcela Falck-Bados, and Ben Toth." Acker also mentioned "how incredibly heartening it is to know that together both Whitman and Walter Johnson raised over $171,000 for the mission of LLS this February."
Thanks to our partners at Pepco, a student at Walt Whitman High School will be awarded with a unique summer internship to sharpen his/her leadership skills displayed throughout the challenge. The internship will be completed at Pepco's headquarters in Washington, DC over an eight-week period where the student will assist the Corporate Citizenship and Social Responsibility Department.
"Our organization continues to be amazed by the tremendous commitment these high school students in the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area show year after year," said Gabrielle Urquhart, National Capital Area Chapter Executive Director. "These students prove that no matter what your age, it's possible to make an impact in the fight against blood cancers. I continue to be inspired by this campaign and what our youngest philanthropists are able to achieve."
Thank you to our Pennies For Patients High School Challenge sponsors that include Pepco, Domino's, and Hot 99.5, and our Honorary Chairs, Chris Pontius of D.C. United and Cynné Simpson of ABC7/WJLA-TV. To learn more about the 2013 High School Challenge and events, please visit our website.