MEXICO – A Penny War took place at Mountain Valley Middle School recently to help pledge five staff members who will ride in the Trek Across Maine in June. The trek is a 180-mile, three-day bike trek, with each trekker responsible for raising a minimum of $450 in pledges for the Maine Chapter of the American Lung Association.

The rules for the Penny War, which raised $3,800, were simple – each homeroom collected pennies and nickels toward a daily score. Dimes, quarters or bills counted against the total. If a homeroom had 100 pennies, and a dollar bill appeared in the can, their total would be zero.

Each day of the nine days the contest ran a list was posted of homeroom scores. It led opposing homerooms to try to get larger coins or bills in the cans of the leaders.

There was a spirit of teamwork as the students plotted their strategies for delivering pennies in their homerooms. One homeroom read an historically based speech over the PA system to encourage participation.

More than $1,700 was collected on the final day alone. The homeroom that won the overall contest had enough pennies to fill 466 rolls and was treated to a pizza party.

The event used more than 2,000 penny rolls. The change was taken to the Oxford Federal Credit Union in three trucks.

The final total was $3,508. The entire student body was rewarded by being treated to ice cream sundaes served by the staff.

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