SPRING HILL — Jennifer Gompers' and Robert McCraw's third-graders enjoyed Olive Garden spaghetti, salad, bread sticks and dessert compliments of the popular Italian restaurant Tuesday because they were top penny collectors.
The children were saving money as part of a schoolwide project to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The school has a personal reason for wanting to raise the funds for research, patient financial aid, family support groups and assistance helping young patients transition from active treatment back into the classroom.
Two students at Spring Hill have a younger brother who was diagnosed in 2007 with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. He is being highlighted by the society this year. "He is their Hero of Hope," said Spring Hill third- through fifth-grade guidance counselor Cindy Hufner, who coordinated the penny collection.
"We raised $2,030.18," she said. That amount put the school in the Loyalty Lincoln Club, for schools that raise more than $2,008 in 2008. One child raised $158 and Hufner hopes to nominate him for the Shiny Penny Award for students who did exceptionally well raising money.
The class that won the Olive Garden lunch, which they ate at school, raised $320.07.