St. Anne’s students show small is mighty during penny drive to support research

Pupils at St. Anne’s French Immersion School were tickled pink to support cancer research again this year during their annual penny drive, raising $3,488 in copper, and more than $19,000 in total, including government fund matching, since the annual campaign began in 2008.

Students presented the donation to UWindsor representatives Friday during a school-wide assembly. St. Anne’s teacher and penny drive organizer John Dufour said he expects even more pennies to trickle in throughout the month of June.

Money raised will support the Carl and Gloria Morgan Graduate Scholarship in Breast Cancer Research. Martin Crozier from Lisa Porter’s lab is this year’s scholarship recipient, whose work seeks to determine the role of the stress hormone cortisol in breast cancer initiation and progression. As well, he is also resolving the effects of a synthetic form of this hormone on response of patients to chemotherapy–important research since this synthetic hormone is widely used as an anti-nausea drug for breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.

“Martin is so very deserving of this scholarship and the students have been so supportive of this important initiative since it began,” Dr. Porter says. “The assembly gives us, as researchers, a chance to speak to the children about what we do and the importance of cancer research, but it also gives us the opportunity both as researchers and as parents to encourage healthy lifestyle practices as a form of prevention.”

Nancy Parker, the University’s manager of advancement operations and special projects, says she is in awe of St. Anne’s students and their dedication to the penny drive.

“I think it’s an amazing initiative and the students are so into this project--they always look forward to collecting pennies to help,” Parker says. “It’s an incredible group of students and it’s really an awesome achievement for such a small school. I really look forward to the presentation every year, it’s very heartwarming.”

Academic Area: