One penny cannot buy much these days but when everyone puts their pennies together, they add up. The Alta elementary and middle school students will once again see the value of a penny by participating in the Children's Miracle Network.
The event kicked off Friday during the 100th day of school when students were asked to bring 100 pennies for CMN. Buena Vista Regional Medical Center personnel Brad Strader, Carrie Turnquist, Tracy Terry and Penni Heitmann were on hand to share information about the annual funddrive and talk with the students about the importance of their pennies.
Special guest was Kelsay Parrott, a second grader from Cherokee, who was burned badly and benefitted from the money raised through the Children's Miracle Network.
At the age of 4, the curious little girl, daughter of Michelle and Brian Parrott, went to blow out a candle at the family's home and her sundress caught on fire. Scared, she ran to her mother, flames up her head and her hair on fire.
She received extensive burns on her face, neck and side and lung damage which required her to breath with the help of a ventilator. Several surgeries have been performed.
The nurses at the hospital noticed immediately her love of life, even though she was in great pain. She spent a great deal of time in the hospital but is glad to be back at home and in school.
"The Children's Miracle Network was wonderful to us and this is one way to help pay them back," Michelle said of allowing Kelsay to give short presentation to promote the fundraiser.
The parents of the little girl are extremely thankful to Children's Miracle Network and the great care she received at the hospital.
Strader shared two pieces of equipment that BVRMC has purchased through the CMN funds - and the kids were amazed at how many pennies it takes for the equipment.
He encouraged them to continue bringing in their pennies for the duration of the event.
The students at Alta have participated in the fundraiser for a few years and have increased their donations each year.
Last year they raised about $3,000, an amount much larger than many schools, even larger schools, participating in the Pennies for Children's Miracle Network event.
As an incentive, the class raising the most money will visit Mercy Medical Hospital in Sioux City and the class raising the second amount will tour the Buena Vista Regional Medical Center.