Crystal Lake Elementary District 47

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Lundahl Middle School Raises $8,327 for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

 LMS Student Council

Lundahl Middle School Student Council. Front Row: Madison Ross, Meg Norten, Ellie Gorak, Josh Ross, Nate Karbowski, Kiara Hein, Brooklyn Paruolo, Ashlynn Henry, Greyson Johnstone; Row 2: Amy Perez, Christina Lin, Skye McCord, Ella Cox, Isabella Farrington, Will Hough, David, Welte-Hart; Row 3: Matt Gross, Iona Dillon, Jenny King, Kelly Raines, Annie Guss, Emily Gray, Zain Bhatti


Lundahl Middle School is taking an active stand against childhood cancer. This year, through the efforts of students, staff and parents, the school raised $8,327 for the Pasta for Pennies campaign benefiting The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS).


With this year’s donation, the school reached a new fundraising milestone, raising more than $50,000 ($50,133) since 2012, and has been named one of the organization’s top fundraising schools in the state.

According to Pam Swenk, the organization’s executive director, children who contracted a blood cancer in the 1940s had less than a 10 percent chance of living. Today, their survival rate is greater than 90 percent. “It is through the efforts of students, parents and the teaching community at schools like Lundahl Middle School that we continue to increase the number of kids who not only  survive a diagnosis of cancer, but who are able to lead happy and productive lives,” said Swenk. “Each and every person who has been involved with the Lundahl Middle School Pasta for Pennies campaign can take credit for helping cure cancer. We are humbled and honored to have this amazing group of people supporting The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.”


For the past six years, the Lundahl student council has spearheaded the fundraiser, where they host events like selling candy grams, an all-school skate night, and a dodgeball tournament. In addition, individual classrooms engage in "change wars,” where students in each homeroom class donate spare change to LLS for a chance to win a catered lunch by the Olive Garden. To boost participation in these classroom competitions, teachers typically offer kids incentives to earn prizes - snacks, homework passes, gum-chewing passes, even a seating chart - if they bring in donations. The top homeroom winners this year were:

1. Mrs. Slater - $1486.09

2. Mrs. Rafferty - $906.99

3. Mrs. Karecki - $684.40

4. Mrs. Ludwig - $578.63

5. Mrs. VanCamp/Greene - $569.65

“Mrs. Avery and I are continually amazed at how giving our students and staff are in this building,” said Susie Johannesen, PE/health teacher and student council co-organizer. “Last year, we challenged the kids to beat our 2012 record by reaching the $8,000 mark and we’ve now done it two years in a row!”

Besides fundraising for the LLS, the Lundahl student council generates donations for the Crystal Lake Food Pantry and families in need, sends Halloween candy overseas to U.S. military troops, donates to various local charities, and has helped purchase Lego sets for a children's hospital.