make it better

Jun 17

Trail Blazers Celebrate Russell Academy’s Achievement in Pennies for Patients Campaign

By make it better

Parkrose’s Russell Academy held a special celebration with help from Trail Blazers Broadcaster Antonio Harvey and Blaze the Trail Cat on Friday. This year, Russell Academy finished first out of 594 schools in Oregon, southwest Washington and Idaho in the Pennies for Patients campaign. Pennies for Patients is a three-week challenge, hosted by The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, where students collect change, host events and raise other funds for patients fighting those cancers.

The students of Russell Academy – despite a poverty rate of more than 65% – raised nearly $6,000.

The cafeteria, already abuzz on the last day of school, exploded when Antonio and Blaze hit the stage. Plaques and congratulatory pennants were awarded along with plenty of hugs, handshakes and high fives.

After the ceremony, the kids took to the playground, site of the Four Square Championships. Four square competitions are tradition at Russell Academy, and these finalists looked like they came from a long line of four square superstars.

But this day was really reserved for a celebration of teamwork and generosity, not competition. The students demonstrated an incredible commitment to helping others, one penny at a time.

Or, more accurately, 600,000 pennies for patients.

(By: Aaron Grossman)


  1. Gotta give back to the kids..... Good job.

    by mbmurr1 on 6/17/2011 9:47 PM
  2. glad to see the blazers represent the community so well!

    by Kassandra on 6/18/2011 1:37 PM
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