Several Carmel Valley schools are doing their part to collect coins to cure Cystic Fibrosis. Their generosity so far has amounted to more than plugging a penny into a piggy bank. Ocean Air School raised $3,000 in one day alone.
The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is hosting the coin drive, called Hazel's Heroes, in honor of 4-year-old CF patient Hazel Remington.
Little Hazel, whose father Mike is a teacher at Torrey Pines High School and Canyon Crest Academy, attends school assemblies to explain what CF is all about with her mom Wendy. The Remington's older son, Alexander, also has CF.
BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse vowed to provide a matching donation to the foundation when a school raises $1,000 and also donate $1,000 to the school as well as a pizza party for the classroom who brought in the most money.
The foundation's goal is to get 20 schools to participate and raise $20,000, executive director Maria Olson said. Participating local schools include Del Mar Hills, Solana Highlands, Solana Santa Fe and Sycamore Ridge.
Ocean Air's haul, plus BJ's contribution, was $5,400 for the foundation.
Principal Gary Wilson told the foundation that his school is all about giving and gave the $1,000 from BJ's back to the foundation and gave the pizza party to Hazel.
At their assembly two weeks ago, Wilson and fourth grade students sang "I Will Care For You" to Hazel, prompting tears from Olson and others in attendance.
"It was so beautiful," she said.
Sycamore Ridge held their assembly last week, to kick off their seven-day drive where students learned all about the disease.
"Hazel gets no recess from CF," Wendy Remington said, telling students while there is no cure, medications are being developed to make patients' lives easier.
As her mom talked, Hazel skipped and bounced around her, in a little flowered dress with heart print tights and silver sparkling shoes.
A student volunteered to wear the vest Hazel has to wear an hour a day for treatment. The vest vibrates to help break up mucus in her lungs.
This is Sycamore's second year participating in the drive; last year they raised $2,500.
"I'm always so proud of the school and what we do for other people," teacher Jennifer Oliveira said.
The coin collection went hand in hand with this month's theme at the school: Caring.