News

Pennies push reaches stretch drive

Evan Menzel, 10, brings in his collection of 1,743 pennies from the year to the News Leader Pictorial office for the Pennies For Presents campaign. He
Evan Menzel, 10, brings in his collection of 1,743 pennies from the year to the News Leader Pictorial office for the Pennies For Presents campaign. He's been donating the last several years, starting out with $64 the first time.
— image credit: Don Bodger

It’s the final push for pennies.

Kim Sayer is hopeful the News Leader Pictorial’s Pennies for Presents and fall book sale fundraisers will reach a combined $10,000 this year, a lofty goal considering the latest tally is just above $6,000. But this happens every year.

"Every year we end up getting a huge influx at the end. We always think we're going to be short and every year we've always thought there is no way we'll beat last year's total and we're always surprised with the amount Pennies for Presents brings in each and every year."

Sayer, office manager at the News Leader Pictorial for the past eight years, said the name is deceiving. The money isn’t for presents. Funds raised are distributed to five different food banks, with the majority going to the Cowichan Valley Basket Society.

"The money has never gone to presents. Five different food banks and the Salvation Army get $500. We started a couple of years ago giving $500 to Women Against Violence. It is one of the main fundraisers each year for the Basket Society.”

Sayer said Cowichan schools and the local Bibles for Missions are consistent every year in collecting and donating their pennies. She said the public can bring pennies into the Cowichan News Leader Pictorial headquarters next to the Brick on the Trans-Canada Highway, or throw their coins in the Pennies for Presents bins placed in different companies around the valley.

"They are gallon-sized bins and most come back full. A lot of people save all year round and give it to us at Christmas."

Last year, between the Pennies for Presents and News Leader Pictorial's annual fall book sale, $17,000 was raised. Sayer doesn't think they will beat that mark this year.

"We had a $7,000 book sale last year and this year we get $4,000. I'm personally disappointed because I've been able to raise the bar every year. The money is going to a fantastic charity and it's all local. We don't want to let anybody down."

Sayer said they are going to re-think their strategy for next year's book sale with the hope of increasing revenue, starting with cleaning out the books they have now and starting fresh.

Sayer volunteers with the campaign because she knows how appreciative and thankful the Basket Society is each year.

"That's thanks enough."

 

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