'Penny war' rages on at Chugiak, Eagle River High

Wednesday, February 1, 2012 - 13:19
Money being raised for Make-A-Wish, Providence
Chugiak High students Signe Johnson and Sabra Tierney (not pictured) dump pennies into the junior class jug in Chugiak’s library Monday, Jan. 30. Proceeds from the “penny wars” event will be donated to Alaska’s chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

For the past week, the four Chugiak High classes and faculty have been engaged in war.

This is the third year the school has held a “penny war” competition to raise money for charity.

Each class earns one point for each penny dropped into their jug in the library. Students can add silver coins and/or paper bills other jugs to make rival classes lose points. For example, a $1 bill is worth minus-100 points.

The competition ends Friday, Feb. 3. This year, all proceeds will be donated to Alaska’s chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Chugiak has already raised more than $700 for Make-A-Wish thanks to its teacher talent show Jan. 13.

All the money donated to Make-A-Wish stays in state to help Alaskans, student council advisor Angela Armstrong said.

The students decide which charity to donate to each year, she said.

Two years ago, Chugiak donated $5,000 to Haiti to help its people recover from an earthquake that killed more than 300,000 people and left another 1 million homeless. Last year, the school donated more than $1,500 to both Bean’s Café and Covenant House Alaska.

Armstrong and fellow student council advisor Lisa Reed brought “penny wars” to Chugiak three years ago. Armstrong said she borrowed the idea from Eagle River High.

Eagle River’s own weeklong coin drive began Wednesday, Feb. 1. All proceeds will be donated to The Children’s Hospital at Providence, student council advisor Tom Klaameyer said via email.

“Penny wars” is part of both schools’ annual WACKO event. This year’s theme at Chugiak is Marvel superheroes. The freshmen are representing Spiderman; sophomores, Wolverine; juniors, The Incredible Hulk; seniors, Superman; and faculty, Black Widow.

Eagle River’s theme is board games. The freshmen are representing Life; sophomores, Jumanji; juniors, Clue; seniors, Candy Land; and faculty, Chess.

Chugiak and Eagle River’s WACKO — which features competitive games between the classes and faculty — will be held Friday, Feb. 10.

In addition to the coin cash, $2 of every ticket sold for Eagle River’s WACKO dance on Feb. 11 will be used to buy board games for children at the hospital, Klaameyer said.

The “penny wars” competition is something students look forward to each year, Chugiak High junior Ashley Equitz said.

Equitz, a member of student government, said the seniors and faculty are usually the most competitive.

Armstrong said the event is a great way to help others.

“This is a way to unite the community,” she said.


Contact Mike Nesper at 694-2727 or [email protected]


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