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Millicoma Australia Fundraiser

Eli Zuckman, left, and Star Harless count donations collected Jan. 21 during an ongoing fundraiser at Millicoma School in Coos Bay to benefit animals suffering in the wildfires in Australia.

EASTSIDE — Students at Millicoma School raised over $3,000 to help animals affected by the Australian wildfires.

Mid-January, sixth- and seventh-grade teacher Jacquie Gamble received approval to start a fundraiser after seeing the devastating impacts the fire was having on the Australian people and wildlife. The entire school jumped onto the “penny war,” where groups turned in coins and won points by how much was collected. The winning group received a root beer float party.

Students count donations collected Jan. 21 during an ongoing fundraiser at Millicoma School in Coos Bay to benefit animals suffering in the wi…

As of the end of January, a total of $3,345 was raised, according to Principal Gary Roberts. The seventh-graders won the competition, “because silver coins canceled out pennies,” but it was the sixth-graders who raised the most money, at $1,328. Because of that, Roberts said he made “an executive decision as principal” to give the sixth-graders a root beer float party as well.

“We’re really proud that our students raised this money,” he said.

When he brought in the coins to Oregon Pacific Bank to be counted, the bank waived the fee for taking change and spent the morning helping him empty bags.

“We spent an hour doing this,” Roberts laughed and added that at first he didn’t realize there were checks at the school and the original fundraiser total was $2,985. When the branch manager at Oregon Pacific Bank saw this, Roberts said he took a $20 out of his wallet so the fundraiser would go over $3,000 in cash.

“He didn’t have to do that, but it’s one of the reasons why I love living back home in Coos Bay, because we have these kind of people in our community.”

Reporter Jillian Ward can be reached at 541-269-1222, ext. 235, or by email at jillian.ward@theworldlink.com. Follow her on Twitter: @JE_Wardwriter.

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