FARMINGTON -- Bring it!
A penny war has been declared between cross-street rivals the Davis School District and heavy underdog Davis County government offices, all in the name of raising funds in support of the American Cancer Society.
And to the victor -- in this case the winning agency -- will go the spoils, which in addition to bragging rights, will include a guided tour of the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City.
The district declared the penny war on the Davis County government agencies to educate students and raise awareness of the incidence of cancer within the county.
Employees at the district and county offices will donate spare coins to the campaign, which began Friday and runs through March 15, said Shauna Lund, community relations specialist for the school district.
"We wanted to create a friendly competition where everyone could exit as a winner," said Timothy Best, the school district's elementary lifestyles specialist.
"We've likely all been touched by cancer in some way, and any donation, no matter how small, helps to find a cure," Best said.
The first $5,000 donated by district employees will stay within the district to provide cancer education curriculum for students, Lund said.
The Davis Education Foundation has pledged to match those donations for a possible $10,000 total.
Davis County government proceeds will be donated to the American Cancer Society to help build the Hope Lodge, a 42-room overnight lodging facility in Salt Lake City, where family and caregivers, as well as patients going through treatment, can stay at no cost.
"We do know that it is going to be a challenge," Davis County Wellness Coordinator Ashley Erickson said of the penny war.
The district has about 7,000 employees, while the county has about 1,000 employees, Erickson said.
"It's a pretty big difference. We definitely know we are the underdogs," she said.
But county employees are excited about the campaign, she said, and excited to have their money going toward the Hope Lodge.
"More than half of all cancer deaths could be prevented by making healthy choices, like not smoking, staying at a healthy weight, eating right and keeping active," Davis County Health Director Lewis R. Garrett said.
"Learning healthy behaviors early in life can help lower chances of getting cancer later on. Education is key," Garrett said.
District employees are encouraged to make donations at www.daviseducationfoundation.org/donate.
Davis County employees can make donations by calling the personnel office at 801-451-3415.