OTTAWA—On March 27, Ottawa Elementary School held a “Pennies 4 Rhianna” benefit to raise money for kindergartner Rhianna Moreno, who has been dubbed “The Toughest Titan.” Rhianna is continuing to recover from a car accident that occurred in December.
Students brought in their pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, fifty-cent pieces, and dollar bills. Principal Dean Brinkman told the children, “We don't care if it jingles or rustles; we'll take it!”
The start of school was stalled until all the money was counted, which gave the students incentive to dig through their couches to find loose change. While each homeroom teacher, with the help of aides, counted money, the 5-8 graders held a dodgeball tournament and the K-4 graders watched a Dr. Seuss movie in celebration of “Dr. Seuss Week.” The school day began around 10:00 am.
Over 300,000 pennies ($3,018.72) were collected (245,070 just on March 27) throughout the event, which will be given to the Moreno family to help with expenses. If the pennies were laid out side-by-side, there would be a copper road that would reach over four miles long.
Mr. McGlaughlin's homeroom raised over $300.00. They will be rewarded with a sundae bar later in the year. Student Cheyenne Klausing brought in more than $120.00.
Principal Brinkman stated, “The students, staff, and community of Ottawa Elementary never cease to amaze me with their generosity. The entire OE community has rallied around Rhianna. It's another wonderful testament of the deep pride and huge hearts our students, staff, and families have for Ottawa Elementary and the Ottawa-Glandorf School System. This is just another positive example of how little things, such as pennies, can add up to make a big difference.”