It was raining "Pennies for Heaven" this week at the Geneseo, NY Wegmans, in a unique fundraiser that raised more than $370 for a very special cause supported by The Arc of Livingston-Wyoming's Self Advocacy group.
Since October 2012, the Self Advocates' "Pennies for Heaven" project has been raising money one penny at a time toward the purchase of a memory bench to honor friends who have passed away.
Pennies and other coins (along with $42 in bills) were collected in large water cooler bottles located at The Arc's Hilltop Industries program in Mount Morris, NY through Tuesday, January 8, 2013. The following day, Arc representatives delivered the coins to Wegmans, where supermarket staff counted and sorted them using the store's Coinstar machine. In a show of generous support for The Arc, Wegmans waived Coinstar's usual 9.8 percent processing fee.
With Pennies for Heaven, the Self Advocates raised $370.85, 58 percent of which was in pennies. In total, more than 22,700 coins were collected, including a grand total of 21,873 pennies. Even utilizing the automated Coinstar machine, the money took about 50 minutes to sort!
Pictured here are The Arc's Steven Piraino, Wegmans' Julie Hernandez and Terri Mason, and The Arc's Billy Driscoll and Holly McCutchen.