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Emblem raises money for cystic fibrosis

Students easily surpass their goal of $1,000 and raise over $3,000.

Posted: April 8, 2008 3:25 a.m.
Updated: June 9, 2008 5:01 a.m.

The Emblem Elementary School student council presents a check to Jean Chan, director of special events for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, for more than $3,000 which the school collected during a recent fundraiser.

When the students of Emblem Elementary School decided to take on a fundraiser for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, they set an ambitious goal to raise $1,000 collectively.

After a week of collecting change and asking for donations, the roughly 230 students realized that they not only met their initial goal, they had tripled it with a grand total of $3,144.09.

BJ's Restaurant also donated $2,000 to the foundation and awarded $1,000 to the Saugus school for its fundraising efforts.

The student council presented a giant check to the nonprofit organization during a Friday school assembly, where the school was thanked for the students' accomplishment.

The fundraising project was started by Julie Malchus, a PTA member whose son, Jacob, has cystic fibrosis and by Leigh Bague, the student council adviser and Jacob's kindergarten teacher.

The original hope was that each of the 10 classrooms would raise $100 to meet their $1,000 goal.

Bague said the money, made up of allowances, change and donations, was raised via containers placed inside the classrooms.

"A lot of them were literally bringing their pennies and coins," she said.

Students were given day-to-day updates on the fundraiser when the student council collected, counted and colored in a poster chronicling their total amount.

"Everybody was really into it," Bague said.

The weeklong fundraiser, which took place during the last week of March, also served to raise awareness about cystic fibrosis.

Each teacher read a story about cystic fibrosis, broken down to be understandable to youngsters, to the class.

Students also participated in a mini CF walk around the school.

Bague believes the entire experience gave the elementary students an opportunity to understand fundraising.

"They learned how to be giving and caring," she said, adding they saw how "a little goes a long way."
The student council leaders also reflected on their chance to make a difference.

"I learned that it's good to donate," said Guilia Faretta, student council president and sixth grader at Emblem.

"I loved how all the kids participated and all the money that we made."

Faretta said that she made a personal donation of $258, which she raised through singing in her church's choir.

Hannah Miller, student council vice president and Emblem fourth grader, was touched by the fundraiser for Jacob, whom she knew before the fundraiser.

"It just touched me how much people cared about it," she said.

Malchus, a Saugus resident, was impressed by how successful the fundraiser, a first for the school, went.
She said her 6-year-old Jacob, who was diagnosed with CF at a month old, understood why the school was raising money, but said that he was a bit overwhelmed by the whole experience.

Although it takes a lot of work for Jacob to stay healthy, Malchus said the hope remains, especially with the many promising drugs and therapy treatments.

"He's doing really well and we're very optimistic about what the future holds for him," she said.


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