Pennies for Patient closing ceremony

Hope Hall Students Raise $4,005 for Cancer Research

Sister Diana Dolce, SSJ, Executive Director of Hope Hall, faculty, students and staff announced the final results of the three-week Pennies for Patients Campaign to benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society on March 7th.

Hope Hall joined more than 300 schools in the Western and Central New York area participating in The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s School & Youth Program, Pennies for Patients®, a value-building program for elementary and secondary schools.  Students collect funds, starting with their own spare change, used to support the research and patient services programs of the Society. The program takes place during a three week period from late winter through spring.

Seventh grade teacher Mr. John Rodman initially challenged the school to raise $2,000, with the promise that he would shave his head if they reach their goal. If they exceeded the goal and raised $2,200, Mr. Rodman said he would also shave his beard. Another teacher, Mr. Jim Zehr, joined the challenge and committed to shaving his head if they reached $2,600. Inspired by the teachers, two students, Robert Doleman and Enrico Hawkes, challenged their classmates to reach $3,000, with the promise that they would shave their heads as well.

Hope Hall students, staff and faculty surpassed the challenged amounts, raising a grand total of $4,005, the largest amount ever raised! This is an amazing accomplishment for our school of just 171 students. Last year, 164 students raised a grand total of $2,572, and in 2012, 147 Hope Hall students raised $3,500.

During the closing ceremony for the fundraising campaign, both teachers and both students had their heads shaved, courtesy of Hairzoo. Transition and Guidance Counselor Vanessa Crans joined the cause by cutting off eight inches of her hair to donate to Pantene’s Beautiful Lengths.

These significant sacrifices by our students and faculty demonstrate the moral and character development that takes place within the Hope Hall community each day. Eighty percent of Hope Hall students come from families that live at or below the poverty level; they have given out of their own need.

Photo caption: Vanessa Crans, Nanette Dickerson, Jim Zehr, Robert Doleman, Enrico Hawkes, John Rodman

Founded in 1994, Hope Hall is a private, non-sectarian, not-for-profit school for students who learn differently. Serving students in grades 3 through 12 from 19 school districts in the Greater Rochester Area, Hope Hall’s nurturing, non-threatening, creative atmosphere encourages students to take risks in learning and helps them reverse the cycle of academic failure. Eighty percent of Hope Hall students come from families who live at or below the poverty level.

For more information, or to make a donation, please contact Hope Hall at (585) 426-5824 or or visit our website at


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