Red Cross thanks pupils for efforts

The Mahoning Red Cross chapter has received about $18,000 from area schools.
Dominique Zordich helped organize a walk-a-thon for pupils at St. Anne's Ukrainian School in Austintown, raising $451.51.
Carmen Figuero helped sell lollipops and baked goods at Hayes Middle School in Youngstown, collecting $400.
Gina Fabian and the Beta Club created "Windows of Life" and sponsored a "Crazy Hat Day" at St. Joseph's the Provider School in Campbell, gathering $300.
When terrorists struck the United States on Sept. 11, thousands of Mahoning Valley schoolchildren like Dominique, Carmen and Gina opened their hearts and used their imaginations to raise money for the American Red Cross' disaster relief fund.
In all, the Red Cross' Mahoning Chapter has received about $18,000 in donations from area schools. On Wednesday, the Red Cross honored 40 pupils and teachers from 17 schools for their efforts at a pizza party luncheon at the chapter's headquarters in Boardman.
Money poured in: "Impressed?" Russ Preston, chapter executive director, said about the amount of money raised. "I'm overwhelmed."
Preston said the Red Cross' telephones started ringing shortly after the Sept. 11 disasters -- teachers and children wanted to know how they could help.
"All of a sudden, all of this money started coming in, and the amount was just unbelievable," he said.
Darielle Cofield passed decorated coffee cans around Bennett Elementary School in Youngstown, collecting $268.81. Some kids even gave up their snack money.
"We were all affected by this, and they felt they wanted to do something," teacher Patricia Zalka said.
West Elementary School in Youngstown collected 84,946 pennies -- $849.46 -- in one day.
"It was power of the penny day," teacher Dawn Toth said.
Positive experience: "There's a lot of good people in the school," fifth-grader Theresa Whitaker said.
The Friday after Sept. 11, pupils at Kirkmere Elementary School in Youngstown paid $1 each and were excused from wearing their uniforms for the day. Teachers paid $2. In all, the school ended up with $1,050.
"It makes me feel like I really made a difference," fifth-grader Brett Vaillancourt said.
Other schools recognized at the lunch were South Range Elementary, Campbell High School, Eagle Heights Academy in Youngstown, Lowellville schools, West Boulevard Elementary in Boardman, Austintown schools, Springfield Elementary, Hubbard High School, Struthers High School, Dobbins Elementary in Poland and Boardman Center Middle School.