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Benner Elementary Students raise funds to remember classmate

Ishaan Patel, 10, a fifth grader drops a quarter in the donation bucket on Thursday, October 2, 2014 at Benner Elementary School. Benner Elementary School students collected quarters to help raise money for the DC8 Fund, a scholarship fund named in memory of Dylan Crunick, a Bellefonte Area High School student who passed away earlier this year from cancer. The quarter drive was Benner Elementary School’s service project for the Col. Gerald Russell Day of Caring.
Ishaan Patel, 10, a fifth grader drops a quarter in the donation bucket on Thursday, October 2, 2014 at Benner Elementary School. Benner Elementary School students collected quarters to help raise money for the DC8 Fund, a scholarship fund named in memory of Dylan Crunick, a Bellefonte Area High School student who passed away earlier this year from cancer. The quarter drive was Benner Elementary School’s service project for the Col. Gerald Russell Day of Caring. CDT photo

Chloe Newbauer dropped $2 worth of quarters into a red plastic bucket at the end of the hall near the cafeteria at Benner Elementary School.

The fifth-grader said she was doing her part to help raise money and awareness about childhood cancer.

The quarter drive on Thursday was part of the school’s service project for the Col. Gerald Russell Day of Caring.

Students and staff teamed up to raise money for the DC8 Fund in memory of Dylan Crunick, a Bellefonte Area High School student who died from cancer earlier this year.

The fund is being established to financially help families of children in the community affected by cancer.

Crunick was also a student at Benner Elementary, Principal Kris Vancas said.

“Our combined efforts can help build awareness of childhood cancer in a fun but developmentally appropriate way,” Vancas said.

The goal is to raise $888 by the end of the week, made specifically to honor Crunick’s baseball No. 8, Vancas said.

By noon Thursday, the school collected more than $700.

“I think we’ll hit the goal,” fifth-grader Michael Henry said. “It’s a really important cause that we’ve been working on all week.”

To celebrate Childhood Cancer Awareness month in September, Vancas said, students began collecting pennies on Monday, then nickels on Tuesday and dimes on Wednesday. On Thursday, quarters were collected, and students were encouraged to show their pride by wearing Bellefonte Red Raiders gear.

Ishaan Patel 10, wore a Bellefonte football jersey with his name on the back. He said that, on Friday, he and his classmates would trade in their Red Raiders gear for attire with yellow or gold on it — the official color of childhood cancer.

“This week has been fun and a good way to help raise money for a fund that will help a lot of people,” Ishaan said.

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