New Castle News


March 14, 2013

Caring kids: Neshannock third-grade class wins cancer challenge

NEW CASTLE — How can free pizza help cancer victims?

Eric Oprean’s third-grade class at Neshannock Elementary School has drawn up the blueprints.

The students took first place in their school’s Fight to White Out Cancer campaign by raising $700.12. Chalk it up to the kids’ eagerness to help, the generosity of family and friends and the lure of a class pizza party.

The school’s Parent-Teacher Organization had promised a pizza party to the class raising the most money, but Bonnie Mong, a parent volunteer whose son, Devin, is a part of Oprean’s class showed up at school one day and learned that a week into the program, the children had managed to raise only about $9.

She got them going on a project decorating cups in which to collect money, and “I also promised them something special if they raised $300, even if they didn’t win,” Mong said.

“They all said, ‘pizza party.’ I said OK. They also roped me into an ice cream party.”

That apparently lit the fuse, and Oprean’s kids carried the torch to a first-place finish in the fundraising competition. They’ve already enjoyed their pizza, donated by Mr. Pizza, and the ice cream party is coming by the end of the month.

Still, it wasn’t just the party promises that inspired the youngsters.

“Mr. Oprean and I spent a lot of time talking with the kids and helping them learn and understand the importance in the fight for the cure,” Mong said. “These kids are amazing. They want to learn and they want to know.

“They are caring and compassionate and they truly want to help. When the fundraiser was over, even after they won, they asked, ‘What can we do next?’ These kids are pretty proud of themselves.”

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