PARMA, Ohio — At Padua Franciscan High School, students, faculty and staff welcome you to a Christmas tradition going on for more than 50 years.
“As a senior, obviously, we have to talk a big game and then show up with it and after seeing the baskets today, ours were pretty full,” said Padua Franciscan High School Senior, Jianna Gulasey.
This game Jianna Gulasey describes is known as Padua’s Annual Christmas for Others Coin Wars Competition.
The goal is for each grade to bring in as many coins as they can. But there's an interesting twist.
“If you put paper money in another grade's basket, it subtracts, so if you have 100 pennies, that's $1, but if another grade puts a dollar bill, you're at zero,” said Gulasey.
Gulasey says this rule only applies in the competition because once everything is completed, the school then counts all the money, including the forbidden dollar bill, to donate to local charities in need.
“As a Catholic School, Christmas is really important, right. It's about who we are. We try to bring Christ alive every day. But as a Franciscan school, I think what's most important is that at the heart of who we are, is in caring for other people,” said Padua Franciscan High School President, David Stec.
“I feel extraordinary,” said Gulasey. “I think Christmas is absolutely all about giving back," said Gulasey.
One of the charities the school plans to help is an organization Gulasey volunteers at called Cassidy’s Hope.
They help families when they have a child who’s struggling with cancer.
“It's very near and dear to my heart as I do know a few people who are struggling with that right now, and after getting them involved with 100 Women Who Care, I thought it was a no brainer to bring them to Padua this year for CFO,” said Padua Franciscan High School President David Stec.
Padua' s Annual Christmas for Others, consisting of the Coin Wars Competition and other events, is the largest student run fundraiser in Northeast Ohio.
Last year, the group raised more than $35,000.
Now, as for how much they raised Tuesday, Padua Franciscan tells News 5 the students donated more than $8,300 and the senior class will take home the win.
The school plans to donate checks totaling $1,000 to nearly two dozen organizations on Dec. 16 during their public mass and Christmas concert.
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