YAN’s Pennies for Panzi Fundraising Campaign Begins Today


Tyrone High School’s Youth Action Network’s (YAN) annual fundraising campaign on behalf of its long-time charity, the Panzi Hospital in the Democratic Republic of Congo, will run from today, Monday, January 23 until Friday, February 3.

Pennies for Panzis is a competition between classrooms to see who can raise the most money with pennies. In this penny war, classes are able to sabotage other classrooms by canceling out other teams’ penny counts with nickels, dimes, quarters, and bills. The money raised in other denominations is deducted from the class penny total.

The Panzi Hospital, under the direction of Dr. Mukwege, is doing some of the most remarkable work in the world.”

— YAN Advisor Cummins McNitt

All the money raised goes to the Panzi Hospital, whose mission is to provide medical care to war-time rape survivors and their children in Congo. More than 70,000 survivors have been treated in the hospital since its founding.

The hospital was founded by Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr. Denis Mukwege. Students at Tyrone learned about the work being done at the hospital from former Penn State Altoona professor Dr. Leann De Reus and artist and Tyrone native Peter Frantz, who helped to found the Panzi Hospital Foundation in the United States.

Tyrone High School has been supporting the Panzi Hospital longer than any other school in the world.

“The Panzi Hospital, under the direction of Dr. Mukwege, is doing some of the most remarkable work in the world. They have a holistic approach to treating their patients, physically, psychologically, and practically,” said YAN advisor Cummins McNitt.

Representatives from the Panzi Foundation and Hospital have come to speak with Tyrone students in the past about what they do and the importance of their mission.

“Once they have treated these women, they address the educational needs of their children, as well as teach them new skills to survive moving forward. We regard it as an honor to be able to assist them, even by raising funds from afar,” added McNitt.

Classes can win in one of two ways. One is to raise the most money in pennies, and the other is to raise the most amount of money overall.

Over the years, YAN has raised more than $17,000 for the Panzi Hospital.