Community: Students vie for top spot in fundraiser

Burbank High School is in the running for the second year in a row as top high school in the Pennies for Patients campaign, a national fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Schools in the district hold fundraisers for the society's Los Angeles chapter. In 2013, Burbank High earned the most money of all high schools in Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties. Students will find out if they won again in May.

Over three weeks during the school year, all classrooms are encouraged to raise funds for the project, said Wendy Miller, senior English teacher, activities director and Associated Student Body adviser at Burbank High. She is also a 1992 graduate of the school.

She brought the program to Burbank High when she started teaching there in 2000 and, over 14 years, the school has raised more than $77,000.

This year, Burbank High raised more than $6,700. The room that raised the most money — $1,342.71 — was Trevor Marca's freshman English honors class with only 23 students. For their efforts, they earned a lunch catered by Olive Garden.

Ninth-grader Amanda Camacho, 13, was the top collector of donations in the class.

“It feels real good to help a specific cause,” she said, adding that employees from her mother's work donated money.

The second-place top donation-getter was Mary Tebbe, 14, also a ninth-grader, who collected money from her family.

Marca's fourth-period classes have been the top fundraisers five out of the 10 years he has been teaching at Burbank High School.

“It's fun to get the kids excited and it has a nice reward as well,” he said. “I've had a handful of students who have had leukemia and they have all survived, so it has hit close to home for me and Burbank High.”

The fundraising campaign teaches students about philanthropy and the importance of giving back to the community, added Marca, who graduated from Burbank High in 1996.


JOYCE RUDOLPH can be contacted at

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