NORTH CALDWELL, NJ — Gould Elementary School in North caldwell has signed on once again to raise funds in the fight against blood cancer through the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's (LLS) Student Series.

Starting this month, Gould School will be having a "Change War" between the homeroom classes called "Pennies for Patients." Each day of the kickoff week fundraiser will have a theme, and the classroom with the most change collected at the end of the week will be dubbed the winner.

The kickoff week themes include Pajama Pennies, Neon Nickels, Dazzling Dimes, Crazy Quarters and Team Up for Leukemia. On each of these days, students are asked to bring in the corresponding monetary change and wear clothing to fit the theme.

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Gould School has been participating in the LLS' Student Series fundraiser since 2016, according to student council advisor Nicole Dillenkofer. During that time, the change collection and tape race, where students have the opportunity to purchase a piece of duct tape and tape a sixth grader to the wall, has always been included.

This year is a little different from previous years, Dillenkofer said, as the school has introduced an online fundraising component as well as kickoff week theme days to help get students excited about fundraising and to make it easier for friends and family to donate.

"Students will have the opportunity to create their own fundraising page and the homeroom that collects the most money will earn a party," said Dillenkofer.

The student council advisor team of Dillenkofer, Toni Arena, Cathy Zimmerman and Chris Checchetto, said they are all very proud of the hard work that the students have put into this event.

By collecting donations, LLS is able to fund more effective therapies. LLS has invested more than $1 billion in research to advance therapies that save lives, according to its website.  

In the 1960's, the survival rate for the most common form of childhood leukemia was 3 percent. Today, the survival rate is approximately 90 percent thanks to many research advances funded by programs like the one at Gould Elementary. 

Readers can donate online at the Gould Elementary School fundraising page until Feb. 14. All proceeds will go toward funding research to help find a cure for blood cancer.