Villa’s annual Penny War raises money for the hungry


November 5, 2021

Villa’s annual Penny War took place from Oct. 18-29, and the senior class came in first place with a total of 101.7 points. The school faculty came in second with 9.66 points, the juniors came in third with -11.93 points, and the sophomores came in fourth with -14.87 points. The freshman class came in last place with -19.16 points as their final score. 

Villa’s Penny War is an easy and fun way to raise money for the Second Harvest Food Bank. The Villa Maria Green Team hosts it every year, and all of the proceeds help feed the hungry in Erie County. 

In this war, each class, including the staff, gets their own container on the outside table of Villa’s Main Office. Each penny that is placed in the container counts as one point and is “positive” towards the grade’s total score. Each silver coin or dollar bill that is placed in the container gets points based on what its actual value is (for example, a dime would be worth ten points); however, it counts “negatively” towards the group totals. So if a certain grade wanted to win, the students in that grade would place pennies into their own container and place nickels, dimes, quarters, and dollar bills into other class containers to try to lower their scores. 

Overall, it is just a friendly competition between the classes with the end goal of helping those in need. 

Sr. Marianne Stuckert is the advisor for the Green Team, and she has been involved with it for about 15 years. She loves working with the students and staff on projects that help protect the Earth. She firmly believes that the future of the Earth depends on the students of today.

She was drawn into the club by a former VMA faculty member and alumni named Doreen Petri. Doreen encouraged her to work on some environmental programs with Villa. 

“The very first project we participated in was analyzing energy consumption at Villa,” Sr. Marianne said. “Ms. Meghan Fuhrman, Mrs. Kathy DiNicola, and I [along] with a group of environmentally friendly students gathered all the energy bills from Villa from the previous three years. We entered the data into spreadsheets and submitted it to the EPA. In 2008, we received the Energy Star Award from the U.S. Department of Environmental Protection. This award is given to a school or business that has made outstanding contributions to protecting the environment through superior energy achievements. The plaque is hanging outside the front door.” 

She is very proud to announce that the Penny War this year raised $750 for the Second Harvest Food Bank. For every dollar raised, the Food Bank can serve six meals. That adds up to over 4,000 people being served a meal. She could not be happier with the results.

Villa senior Margaret McGovern is co-captain of the Green Team with fellow senior Grace Teed. Margaret helps organize the school events that pertain to the environment. She has been involved with Green Team since her freshman year, and she was introduced to it at Villa’s club fair. 

“I loved the idea of having an environmental club within the school,” Margaret said. “I was interested in the club because I saw how passionate the upperclassmen were about the environment. They provided fun activities that engaged the whole school and promoted love for the environment.” 

She loves how engaged the school gets in the Penny War and seeing the anticipation that builds up as everyone waits for the final scores. 

“Green Team has created an awareness in me about taking care of our environment,” Margaret said. “I will continue to do my part in caring for our earth.”

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