Tea elementary school raises $10,000 in pennies for mother battling brain cancer

Local News

TEA, S.D. (KELO) – A simple penny fundraiser holds great value to a community member that is battling cancer. It’s students helping students at Tea Area Legacy Elementary.

Students Blair and Rylee Loe’s mother was diagnosed with brain cancer. In an effort to help, fellow students started a fundraiser, which soon got additional help from the community.

Last week, students at Tea Area Legacy Elementary school were at war to see which class could raise the most money in pennies.

Courtesy: Tea Area Legacy Elementary

“All the grades would come up and dump their pennies in their grades and put silver coins in other grade’s jar,” Cerny said.

Members of Student Council Conlee Cerny and Aniston Cook say this is all in an effort to help two of their fellow students whose mom is in her own personal battle with brain cancer.

“We don’t want to see them sad, and alone, and hurt, and we want to help them as fast as possible to get back on their feet,” Cook said.

4th Grade Teacher Amanda Pickett says she has one of the students, Rylee in her class.

“We check in – especially on Mondays; Mondays are our tougher days. That’s when mom heads off for treatment,” Pickett said.

The other, Blair is in Kindergarten. Pickett worked with students to develop the fundraiser.

“It just really touched my heart with them, and I felt that I needed to help them in some way, shape, or form,” Pickett said.

Over the course of one week, the students, their families, and community members raised 10,583 dollars for the family.

“It felt really great because I was really surprised and happy for them that we raised so much for their mom,” Cerny said.

“I had to hold back lots of tears because it brought me so much joy and happiness to watch the amount grow,” Pickett said.

Then one morning, they presented the family with a check with the total amount.

“This is amazing, you guys. Thank you so much,” Loe said.

Courtesy: Tea Area Legacy Elementary

“Mom was just really really grateful and thankful… and honestly we could not have done it without the help of all of our families here,” Pickett said.

“It feels really great, and I’m happy we raised so much,” Cook said.

“It’s really great to know that people will care about people even though they don’t know them very well. So it’s really cool to see that happen,” Cerny said.

The mother, Jess Loe is currently getting treatment at the mayo clinic.

A GoFundMe has been set up for Jess here, for those who would like to donate. A benefit account has also been established for Jess Loe at First National Bank, PO Box 5186 Sioux Falls, SD 57117-5186.

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