Prairie Elementary raises funds for families battling cancer

Community members are encouraged to donate to the school's annual Coins for Cancer event.

Prairie Elementary fourth-graders dressed in neon Tuesday as part of a fundraiser for Children's Miracle Network to fight cancer and help families dealing with cancer.
Prairie Elementary fourth graders play in the gym dressed in neon in support of Children's Miracle Network fundraising to fight cancer and help families dealing with cancer. Tuesday in Worthington. Tim Middagh / The Globe
Tim Middagh / The Globe

WORTHINGTON — Staff and students at Prairie Elementary have once again joined the fight against cancer this month, raising money for Children’s Miracle Network in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, with its Coins for Cancer event.

“I’m so excited for our school to be choosing a local organization that truly helps families, and 100% of the money goes to what you are donating to,” wrote Meg Spartz, a first grade teacher at Prairie, whose son, Jeff, has benefited from donations provided by the fundraiser and Children’s Miracle Network. “Prairie Elementary has raised money for kids with cancer for years, but this could help families right here in our area.”

The fundraiser has become an annual tradition at Prairie, with grade levels competing to gather as much change as possible in order to win a prize. This year, the top fundraising grade will get “Cookies for Cancer,” said Anne Foley, public relations/communications coordinator for District 518 .

Prairie Elementary students are raising money for the Children's Miracle Network this month.
Prairie Elementary kids are raising money for the Children's Miracle Network. Tim Middagh / The Globe
Tim Middagh / The Globe

Prairie staff sparked off the drive last week by donating to wear jeans for the day, and those funds will go toward food vouchers for families with kids in Sanford Children’s Castle of Care Hospital in Sioux Falls.

That week, teachers also spoke with their students about four types of cancers — sarcoma, cancers of the bones and soft tissues; lymphoma, cancers that start in the lymph system; leukemia, cancers of the blood cells; and childhood cancers, the most common of which are leukemias, brain and central nervous system tumors and lymphomas, according to the National Cancer Institute.


This week, students began their fundraising work, and celebrated their efforts with dress-up days matching coins they were encouraged to bring that day — Monday was Pajama Penny Day and Tuesday was Neon Nickel Day. Wednesday is Dress on a Dime Day, Thursday will be Crazy Quarters Day and on Friday, Team Up for Cancer Day, students will wear their favorite team’s jersey or colors and bring all coins or dollars.

Rather than gathering to celebrate the results of their fundraising, this year Prairie will make a reveal video instead, Foley said. The total raised will be announced at the end of this week or the beginning of next week.


Sanford Children’s Hospital is the region’s only Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, and funds raised via the Children’s Miracle Network in Sioux Falls stay local, benefiting kids through providing for specialized equipment, programs and direct child and family assistance.

Anyone who wants to send a donation to add to a classroom donation is welcome to drop it off at the Prairie Elementary office.

“If you are a business who wants to donate to this great cause, we welcome your contribution,” Spartz said.

A 1999 graduate of Jackson County Central and a 2003 graduate of Augsburg College, Kari Lucin started writing for newspapers in Minnesota and North Dakota in 2006. During her time as a reporter, she covered beats including education, watershed, county and agriculture, and frequently wrote about health and science. She has also served as an online content coordinator and an engagement specialist at various Forum Communications properties. She was a marketing assistant at Iowa Lakes Community College in Estherville for two years, where she did design work in addition to writing and social media management.

Lucin is currently a community editor with the Globe of Worthington.

Phone: (507) 376-7319
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