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More Children Helping Children in 2007's CureFinders® Program

More than 400 schools and thousands of students in grades K-12 across the nation helped to make 2007 a phenomenal year for CureFinders®. Now well into its third year and going strong, in 2007 the school fund-raising program raised more than $830,000 nationwide. While some schools had a CureFinders student who has cystic fibrosis to rally around, others had no direct connection to the disease, simply a lot of heart — and a whole lot of creative spirit.

To engage not just his class, but the entire North Forest Pines Elementary student body in the change collection program, fourth-grade teacher Frank Bogden convinced the school's principal to present a bold challenge to the student body. As Bogden explains it, "Chris (McCabe) said he would spray paint his hair the school's colors if they reached their $5,000 goal." A second challenge was made to neighboring Raleigh, N.C. school Forest Pines Drive Elementary that the losing school's principal would don the winning school's colors for a day.

"The challenges really motivated the kids to get creative," adds Bogden. Students at both schools decorated posters, held rallies and even created and aired motivational TV commercials. In addition, teachers helped by integrating the change collection program into their classroom curriculums.

After the week long fund-raiser, Bogden reported that while North Forest Pines emerged the victor, "both schools surpassed their goals and were triumphant." North Forest Pines raised $5,163 and Forest Pines raised $2,539 for the Carolinas Chapter's Raleigh Office, well above CureFinders' national fund-raising average.

Two hundred miles to the west, Bain Elementary was busy celebrating its own CureFinders success. The key for Bain was its CureFinders kick-off assembly, held the Friday before the program began. During the assembly, several students took to the stage to demonstrate how different everyday life is for a person with CF. Afterward, 5-year-old Drew Allen bravely stood on stage and exhibited the vest that helps him to breathe better. The school raised an impressive $4,386 for the Carolinas Chapter's Charlotte Office.

Participating for his second year in CureFinders, St. Ignatius School's fourth-grade teacher Chris Paragone rallied the students and staff around the mission to have "CF stand for 'cure found.'" After a week of full immersion in the CureFinders program — including jar wars, classroom discussions and daily announcements — St. Ignatius achieved more than double its goal, raising $8,000 for the Alabama Chapter's Mobile Office.

"The great thing about CureFinders is that it's children helping children," said Paragone. "That's the key ingredient, and that's why it works so well."

To get your school involved in CureFinders, contact your local chapter or click here for more information.