The senior class at Macomb Christian School (Warren, Michigan which is greater Detroit) needed a fund raiser. They settled on a one-week Penny War.
Each class, 7th grade – 12th grade, was given a jug in which to collect coins. Pennies were positive points, but silver – quarters, dimes and nickels – were negative points so they could be used by one class to sabotage the point potential of another class.
Mr. David Kaynor, advisor to the senior class, hoped the war would have an income of $250 so each senior would have $15 toward his / here senior trip. His notes of the event follow:
“Since the classes were competing against teach other, the seniors had to motivate involvement. They promised 25% of the total take to the class that won. At first, most classes were upset that the seniors would walk away with 75% of the profit, but a competitive spirit rescued the war.
“Monday, day 1, brought in $30. After day 2, the total climbed to $160. Day 3 reached the $300 mark. So by Wednesday, day 3, the student body had exceeded my expectation. Things were heating up.
“By the end of day 4, they had $660 and the 25% prize was worth $150.
“That’s when the war broke out.
“Hearing that the 7th and 8th grades joined forces, the 9th and 11th grades signed a secret deal (unknown until after the war).
“Friday morning the seniors – who were in last place – brought in jars of pennies in the first five minuites of the school day – a feisty start for the last day. Penny wars was in the air. The competition was to end at noon, the winner to be announced over the PA at the close of school.
“I wanted all the class officers in the same room as the clock ticked toward high noon so any last minute jockeying and joshing could be enjoyed by all.
“Five minutes before noon, the juniors made their statement with $350 in pennies, a single gallon jug long since inadequate to haul in such a load. That’s 35,000 pennies.
Not to be outdone, the 10th graders answered with three packpacks containing 32,000 pennies. The room went electrical, charge with expectancy, excitement and fun.
“It was one of those unscripted, spontaneous moments that are the tenderloin of youthful wholesomeness and exuberance.”
“Into this dramatic ambiance the 7th gradres rolled in their brinks truck – a cart carrying 30,000 pennies.
“My 5th hour class was supposed to take a test, but voted unanimously to respond to me appeal for help counting the loot. Organizing the 25 sutdents into teams we counted through 5th and 6th periods. I kept all the sheets so no one would know who won.
“The seniors got 5th place with minus 2,038 points. First and second place were separated by a mere 24 cents – 28,573 versus 28,549! The 11th grade class won and received $500 as their 25% of the total take. Instead of the $15 I was hoping each senior would get, each received $70. It was a fun war.”