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The Malvern School of Glen Mills Takes the Lead in Fundraising to Fight Childhood Cancer

‘Tis the season of giving … but year-round, our curriculum teaches our young friends about the importance of giving back.

One of the ways we do this is by demonstrating philanthropy in action through our school-wide partnership with Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) to fight childhood cancer – and enabling children of all ages to personally take part in making a difference.

With everyone’s help, this year we raised $147,536.55 – far surpassing our goal of $120,000 in recognition of The Malvern School’s 20th anniversary – bringing our fundraising total to nearly $800,000 over more than 10 years. 

Every school, every child, every family, every teacher, every director and every staff member had a hand in this awesome accomplishment – and leading the pack was The Malvern School of Glen Mills, our 2018 Top Fundraiser for ALSF. Glen Mills alone raised $19,332!

So how does one school raise nearly $20,000 in just four months?

“Our teachers, our students and their families, and a nice, healthy dose of competitiveness!” says Alison Hassenplug, The Malvern School of Glen Mills’ Director of Education. “Glen Mills has always been a top earner for ALSF. It’s in our blood and it’s part of our culture here – but it also requires creativity.”

Alison emphasizes that Glen Mills varies its fundraising activities to allow individuals and families to support the cause in the ways they are most comfortable doing. These activities range from having dinner at Chick-Fil-A, to bidding on a $500 Silent Auction basket, to anything in between.

The school also enables supporters to help raise funds without spending any money out of pocket.

“We try to host events that don’t cost families a dime,” adds Alison. “For example, this year we held a Clothing Drive and asked families to donate clothing, bedding or stuffed animals they no longer use. We donated these items in bulk to a company that compensated us by the pound, and parents were able to get rid of unwanted clutter. It was a hit!”

The school’s most successful event was its Annual Art Auction. Teachers worked with the children to make fantastic art projects – something very different and more involved than the art projects they do on a daily basis. Then, a large auction was set up at the school like an actual art sale with tents and twinkle lights. There was also a Silent Auction, raffles, local vendors, food and a moon bounce. Parents donated however much they wanted for their children’s art and all of the families had a blast.

“The children are a huge part of our fundraising and we try to get them involved in as many ways as possible,” continues Allison. “Beyond the Art Auction, they ‘work’ our Lemonade Stand and get the biggest kick out of ‘selling’ lemonade. Our Kindergarteners visit with Alex Scott’s family for our check presentation and learn about how the money we raise helps children and their families. We read Alex’s book, embed lessons about philanthropy in our curriculum and so much more.”

Other standout fundraising activities include: Weekly Restaurant Series fundraisers, change races, t-shirt sales and Parents’ Nights Out.

With these activities and more, parents have options as to what they choose to participate in and know they can contribute in a variety of different ways.

“We are honored to be the Top ALSF Fundraiser year after year, but it’s really about what these dollars mean,” notes Allison. “They mean families get to travel to participate in clinical trials that they may not have had the means to get to. They mean that some siblings of terminally ill children get special treatment that they wouldn’t normally get. They translate into thousands and thousands of hours of research on the specific types of cancers that affect children. That’s what it’s all about.”

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