Pennies raised put teacher on the wall at Bloomington school

| January 21, 2016 | 0 Comments
Physical education teacher Blair Benecke tries to endure whipped cream pies to the face at Nativity of Mary School in Bloomington Jan. 21. It was part of a fundraiser to raise money for children with leukemia.

Physical education teacher Blair Benecke tries to endure whipped cream pies to the face at Nativity of Mary School in Bloomington Jan. 21. It was part of a fundraiser to raise money for children with leukemia. Dave Hrbacek / The Catholic Spirit

Physical education teacher Blair Benecke found herself up against a wall — literally.

But, she was all smiles as fellow teachers at Nativity of Mary School in Bloomington did their best to duct tape her to the gymnasium wall Jan. 21. It was all in good fun and the culmination of an annual fundraiser started at the school in 2001.

Called Pennies for Patients, it involves a penny collection for three weeks to raise money for children with leukemia. Nativity of Mary got involved 16 years ago because two teachers at the time had children with leukemia. Third-grade teacher Patty Meyer has a son, Andrew, who was diagnosed with it in 1994 when he was 9. Now 30, he is a cancer survivor.

A second teacher, Lynn Robertson (kindergarten) has a son, Teddy, who had the disease as well. He, too, is now cancer free. Robertson was one of a handful of teachers who applied the tape to Benecke. Pieces were sold for $1 apiece, and this year, whipped cream pies were also part of the mix. They were sold for $20, and dozens of students who had paid for them lined up for their chance to throw them at their gym teacher.

“It was very exciting and very energetic in the gym,” Benecke said. “And, knowing how many children we’re going to help is worth it all.”

So far, $6,000 has been raised in this year’s campaign, with a goal of $7,300. That pushes the six-year total to $68,000.

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