WEIRTON - Every penny helps.
That was the message students and teachers at Weirton Heights Elementary wanted to deliver when it came to their efforts to benefit the American Cancer Society.
On Friday, the school held a rally and mini-Relay for Life to help celebrate its contribution to the cause, having raised $2,168 as of Friday afternoon.
Teacher Kathy Carey, who also is a member of the planning committee for the Brooke-Hancock Relay for Life, explained the school of 365 students has held a fundraiser for three years now, bringing in $1,800 in 2012.
"It was our goal to beat that," Carey, a cancer survivor herself, said.
She said all of the students brought in something to help with the efforts, relaying a story of one student who offered a baggie with 61 cents, explaining the pupil was excited to be able to help.
The students and teachers at Weirton Heights Elementary held a rally Friday in honor of the Brooke-Hancock American Cancer Society Relay for Life, which will take place tonight at Follansbee Middle School. In recent weeks, the school has raised more than $2,000 to benefit the American Cancer Society. Students performed a dance Friday as part of the rally. -- Craig Howell
To close out their rally, students, teachers and parents from Weirton Heights Elementary walked around the block near the school for their own miniature relay. The Brooke-Hancock American Cancer Society Relay for Life takes place tonight at Follansbee Middle School. -- Craig Howell
"We've told them all along every penny counts," she said, explaining there were still contributions coming in.
Carey admitted she had been concerned about the students reaching their goal, noting as of Friday morning only $1,500 had been collected. The remainder of the balance came in during the school day.
Friday afternoon's rally included a special dance performed by the students, all wearing purple gloves, and a mini-Relay for Life, with students, teachers and parents walking a lap around the block near the school.
The students also held a moment of silence in memory of those who have been lost to cancer and launched a collection of purple and white balloons in honor of Relay for Life.
Carey said this year is the first time every school in Hancock County has put together a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.
"It's important for us as a community," she said, noting the school holds fundraisers for multiple causes and organizations throughout the year in the hopes students will be inspired to give back later in life.
The Brooke-Hancock Relay for Life will take place at 6 p.m. today at Follansbee Middle School.
(Howell can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, and followed via Twitter @CHowellWDT)