Penny weigh-in deemed a success

A penny may not mean much to some these days, but Margaret Schonewille of the local Alzheimer Society was happy to be up to her ears in them after a series of “Family Pennies for Your Thoughts” weigh-ins around the region over the past few weekends.
“It was fantastic,” the executive director of the Kenora-Rainy River branch said Monday, having returned to Kenora after fundraisers in Fort Frances, Rainy River, and Emo last weekend.
“Just the spirit of giving. . . .” she marvelled. “Now that people know what we we’re doing, we’re going to do it again next year.”
On Friday and Saturday at Canada Safeway here, Schonewille was weighing bags, jars, and rolls of pennies donated by local residents—seeing a total of 66 kg (146 pounds) in copper come in.
A similar event held Sunday at Cloverleaf ShopEasy in Emo saw 38.6 kg (85 pounds) in pennies donated. These totals convert roughly to $219 and $127.50, respectively.
The top donor at Safeway was Delinda and John George, who dropped off 16.7 kg (37 pounds) in pennies, while the second-heaviest load—nine kg (20 pounds)—was brought in by Margaret Kitzul.
The Georges received a sitting and 8”x10” picture courtesy of In Focus Photography while Kitzul got a gift certificate from Pizza Hut and a CD holder from the Alzheimer Society.
The top donor is Emo, meanwhile, was Karen and Dennis Pelepetz, who handed over 14 kg (31 pounds) in copper. They got a pizza kit from Cloverleaf ShopEasy.
But Fort Frances and Emo didn’t quite match up with donations in other communities around the region. A weigh-in in Dryden on Jan. 10 brought in 86 kg (190 pounds) in pennies while one in Kenora the following weekend fetched 123.8 kg (273 pounds).
Children who donated pennies at each location received gift certificates for French fries, courtesy of McDonald’s Restaurants, as well as suckers and balloons.
Proceeds from the weigh-ins will be used locally—particularly to raise awareness of the disease and educate others on how to deal with it, stressed Schonewille.
This is done not only through advertising, but also home and workplace visits.
Other monetary donations also were welcome. About $64 in cash was donated, as was $20 in Canadian Tire money.
While there was no penny weigh-in staged in Rainy River, a fundraiser dinner was held Saturday evening at the Legion there, which attracted about 50 people.
Including proceeds from a penny table, that event netted $534 for the Alzheimer Society.
In related news, the Alzheimer Society is encouraging all area businesses to take it easy for “Stress Down Friday” on Friday, Feb. 20 and donate the proceeds to the Alzheimer Society of Kenora-Rainy River Districts.
Some suggestions to do this include:
•choosing a theme and dressing accordingly;
•organizing a mini-exercise class;
•go out for lunch or after-work drinks;
•take your break at a different time; or
•play relaxing music while you work.
A suggested donation is $2 per participant.
To register your business, contact the Alzheimer Society at 1-807-468-1516 or 1-800-682-0245.
(Fort Frances Times)