‘Pennies for JANE’ collects $25,000

‘Pennies for JANE’ collects $25,000


Hundreds of Rockford-area school students gathered at the Burpee Museum of Natural History recently to dump their canisters of coin, collected during the six-week “Pennies for JANE” campaign, into a large coin-counting barrel, resulting in a total $25,000 donation to the celebrity dinosaur’s final display.

The “Pennies for JANE” campaign was the brainstorm of Dr. Susan Leahy, head of Lower Keith Country Day School. The fund-raising event was kicked off in April with students from nearly 70 schools throughout the Rock River area participating in the coin collection. Almost 2,000 canisters have been filled with change—an estimated 70,000 pounds of coins.

“It just doesn’t get any better than this,” said Mimi DesRosiers, Burpee’s vice president of Marketing & Development. “This effort truly demonstrates that kids can really help make a difference in our society. They are learning that even the smallest individual effort can blossom into something that can benefit everyone and leave a legacy that will live on into perpetuity.”

Following the official coin count by US Bank, an official BRINKS truck was on hand to bag the coins and deliver them to the bank. All donated funds will go toward the preparing and mounting of “JANE’s” bones for display in 2005. The $25,000 raised is potentially a world record-breaking coin collection.

To celebrate the milestone, nearly 450 students and guests were treated to a pizza party, compliments of Coca-Cola, Dean Foods, Papa John’s Pizza, Pizza Hut and Sam’s Restaurant. They were entertained on the Burpee grounds by the Guilford Jazz Band, a “JANE” impersonator and magician, Ryan Miller—a fourth grader at Machesney Elementary.

Non-public schools participating in the “Pennies for JANE” campaign are: Holy Family Catholic School, Keith Country Day School-Lower, Keith Middle & Upper School, Keith School, Lutheran Academy at Gloria Dei, Rainbow Academy, Spectrum School and St. Bridget Catholic School. Public schools include: Rockford School District 205—Auburn High School, Barbour Magnet School, Beyer Elementary, Bloom School, Brookview Elementary, Carlson Elementary, Cherry Valley Elementary, Conklin Elementary, Dennis Science Magnet, East High School, Eisenhower Middle School, Ellis Arts Academy, Fairview Center, Flinn Middle School, Froberg Elementary, Gregory Elementary, Guilford High School, Haskell Academy, Hillman Elementary, Jackson Elementary, Jefferson High School, Johnson Elementary, Kennedy Middle School, King Gifted School, Kishwaukee Elementary, Lathrop Elementary, Lewis Lemon Academy, Lincoln Middle School, Marsh Elementary, McIntosh Science & Tech. Magnet, Montessori Magnet, Nashold Elementary, Nelson Elementary, New Milford Elementary, Page Park School, Riverdahl Elementary, Rock River Elementary, Rockford Environmental Science Academy, Rockford Science & Technology Academy, Rolling Green Elementary, Roosevelt Center, Skyview Center, Spring Creek Elementary, Stiles Investigative Learning Magnet, Summerdale Elementary, Thompson Elementary, Walker Elementary, Washington Communication Academy, Welsh Elementary, West Middle School, West View Elementary, White Swan Elementary and Whitehead Elementary. Belvidere School District 100—Caledonia Elementary. Harlem School District 122—Harlem Middle Schools, Olson Park Elementary, Donald C. Parker Early Education Center and Ralston Elementary. Pecatonica School District 321—Pecatonica Grade School. Winnebago School District 323—Seward School and Simon Elementary. Regional Office of Education—Regional Alternative School.

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!