More than just a game: the legacy of Penny Wars

Christine Silak ‘22, Business/Ad Circulation Manager

At South Lyon High School, many students and staff look forward to the annual Penny Wars, where fourth hour classrooms face off for a week (March 14-March 23 this year) and compete to win a pizza party. Each class has a jar, and students can put in pennies and cash to increase their dollar amount and silver coins to sabotage others. In the midst of the fun, however, the cause that this money is being donated to is often lost in the chaos. 

The Jacob Michael Davis Foundation is the recipient of the funds raised from Penny Wars, often thousands of dollars each year. It is dedicated to providing financial support to help offset the uncovered costs of childhood cancer treatment. Staff member and economics teacher at SLHS, Mr. Davis, created this foundation after the devastating loss of his son, Jacob Michael Davis, to leukemia. The foundation works through patient and family support services at medical complexes and cancer clinics to help identify families in need of augmentation of current support programs. In addition, the foundation helps support both post-treatment survivorship programs, as well as grief/loss programs for bereaved families.

Jacob was just twenty-three months old when he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in October of 1999. Mr. Davis said “The foundation was started 12 years ago. My wife and I created it in honor of our son who passed away from Leukemia in 2005. We started it to help families with parts that their insurance wouldn’t cover, to pick up bills, costs back and forth to treatments, hotel stays, things like that that normal insurance wouldn’t cover so we kind of picked up the things that regular insurance won’t cover. Penny wars was started by a former student many years ago and NHS has taken it over and they do an annual thing for raising money for our foundation and we obviously appreciate all the work and effort that they do.”

This year, SLHS students raised $3737.17 for the Jacob Michael Davis Foundation.

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