Fundraising phenomenon ready for her annual coin drive

The little fundraiser extraordinaire is at it again.

Janeece Edroff has set her sights on taking another big step toward her goal of raising $1 million with this year’s Variety Club Coin Drive.

Although the 12-year-old Dunsmuir middle school student has neurofibromatosis, a rare form of cancer that causes tumours to sprout on her spine and major organs, the disease hasn’t slowed her down from working tirelessly to raise money for others.

“I just want to help other kids,” Edroff said, adding, “I’m really excited about this year’s coin drive.”

The annual Variety Club Coin Drive Jan. 8 to Feb. 8, which Edroff launched as a provincewide effort when she was six years old, has raised more than $400,000 since its inception, with last year’s effort raising $119,408.

That’s a far cry from what was originally anticipated, said Edroff’s mother, Angie.

“The first year, we figured we’d be happy with $5,000 and managed to raise $27,000,” Angie said. “We wondered if that was a fluke, but it’s gone up every year in leaps and bounds.”

The response has been phenomenal, Angie noted, pointing out that penny drives don’t usually bring in those kinds of numbers. Janeece is not your average fundraiser, however, as evidenced by her induction into the Terry Fox hall of Fame Nov. 13 for her fundraising efforts.

Janeece has been an honourary rider for the Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock for the past five years, raising $36,000 by gathering pledges to shave her head, helping out with hot dog and burger sales at Thrifty Foods fundraisers, and organizing an annual Program for Academic and Creative Enrichment (PACE) event at the Isabelle Reader Theatre in Langford.

She’s also personally responsible for shaking another $11,000 out of people’s pockets for the British Columbia Neurofibromatosis Foundation.

Edroff also managed to make the honour roll at Dunsmuir recently for the first time, something she’s extremely proud of.

Anyone wishing to donate to this year’s Variety Club Coin Drive can do so at any Bank of Montreal branch or Thrifty Foods location, or by calling the Variety Club at 1-800-381-2040.

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