Students at Central Primary School in Gonzales raised nearly $10,000 this year for blood cancer research and to assist patients and their families, according to a news release.

The three-week fundraising drive, held in January, was part of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Pennies for Patients program.

The campaign kicked off with an educational assembly. Abby Ragusa, a lymphoma survivor, and Taylor Mangus, a leukemia survivor, spoke about their experiences to students and faculty who paid $1 to dress in lime green and orange for lymphoma and leukemia awareness.

The Junior Beta Club, sponsored by fifth-grade teacher Stephanie Thibodeaux, set a goal to be an “all-star school” and raise $8,300 — $1,000 more than what was raised last year. The club personalized its LLS fundraising webpage and encouraged teachers and parents to share the link during the three weeks. A competition also was held between homerooms to see who could raise the most money.

Central Primary surpassed the fundraising goal, bringing in $9,634, making it the top fundraising school in the Mississippi/Louisiana chapter.

The Junior Beta members were presented with a banner and plaque on May 18 by Julie Capdeville, LLS school and youth campaign manager.