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Mount Aetna School Raises $7,000 for Ill Student

Story by Beth Michaels

Chesapeake Conference members joined forces recently for Mount Aetna Adventist Elementary School’s (MAAES) second fundraiser for student Cathy Recuenco (pictured), who is battling leukemia. Ten local churches responded to school students’ appeals, donating more than $6,000 toward the "Showers of Blessing for Cathy” fundraiser. With a $1,000 match from the nearby Review and Herald Publishing Association, the students were able to donate more than $7,000 to Recuenco and her family to help with her ongoing medical treatments.

Mount Aetna students spent several weeks collecting and bringing in the donated cash, depositing it in a large water container placed in the school hall. Last year students held an indoor yard sale, which helped them raise an initial $4,500 for Recuenco—making their total contributions to the ill student more than $12,500.

“There is nothing more beautiful than watching Jesus empower children to change their world,” commented Kandace Zollman, MAAES principal. “Some of the children who asked for donations at their churches are shy and have trouble getting up front, but they were willing to face their fears to help Cathy. Love is a powerful motivator, and the most important lesson we strive to teach.”

Sheridan Reginato, an MAAES eighth-grader from Martinsburg, W.Va., added, "It was very uplifting to me and it gave me a lot of hope. I loved how everybody worked together!"

Briana Berry, a student at nearby Highland View Academy and an MAAES alumna, heard about Recuenco’s need for additional treatment and decided she also wanted to help. She put together a benefit concert featuring area students and adults and brought in more than $1,600 in additional donations. Zollman reports that Berry, while attending MAAES, was the one who came up with the idea of students donating pennies on Monday, nickels on Tuesday, dimes on Wednesday, quarters on Thursday and dollars and checks on Friday.

A wall display lists the projects Mount Aetna students have done this
school year, including the coin drive for fellow student Cathy Recuenco.

Mount Aetna students Katie Jackson and Maya Sanchez drop coins in the
bottle for the "Showers of Blessing for Cathy" fundraiser.