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      School staff collects loose change for good cause

      Pennies by themselves don't usually carry much worth, but combine them with hundreds more and all for a good cause, and suddenly their value becomes very meaningful.

      The Iron Mountain Teacher's Association organized a â??Pennies for Prescriptionsâ?? event that sought to raise funds for the prescription assistance program through St. Vincent de Paulâ??s in Iron Mountain.

      â??Recently, a bond was passed in our community and we wanted a way to give back,â?? said coordinator Brenda Swartout.

      â??Each month we've done a different fundraiser for a different local project,â?? said association president, Danielle Dumais. â??Weâ??ve raised over $1,000, not including tonight, for the Salvation Army, the TV6 Canathon, and the American Cancer Society."

      The program through St. Vincentâ??s provides financial assistance to anyone needing help paying for prescriptions.

      Mike is a volunteer at the Iron Mountain Senior Center, and even though he doesn't use the program, he thinks itâ??s a neat idea.

      â??Itâ??s good; I had no idea they did it,â?? said Olson. â??I go to the pharmacy and I take Wellbutrin and stuff like that for depression.â??

      â??Itâ??s January, and a lot of people's deductibles are starting over, and there's a need for some assistance in helping people pay for their prescriptions, so we thought it's be a good month to donate for that,â?? Dumais said.

      And it wasn't simply staff in the association helping out; student came to join in the effort.

      â??Theyâ??ll donate some change and grab a cookie; we've got hot cocoa and cookies, and we've had quite a few people stop by and we've gotten a lot of bills as opposed to pennies,â?? Duamis said.