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Date of Issue: March 01, 2007

Penny challenge joins 'Fling'

'Penny challenge' contributors John Bacich, left, and Harold Bergstrom show off their collection at The Islander office. Islander Photo: Bonner Joy

How many pennies do you think the jar holds? And quarters, nickels, dimes and dollars?

It's quite a lot … and whoever guesses the correct - or closest - amount of money in the jug can be a winner of 10,000 pennies for themselves and Anna Maria Elementary School will win the big prize, the full jug of money.

The winner is to be announced at the school's "Spring Fling," an annual event put on by the AME Parent-Teacher Organization to raise funds for school enhancements.

This year's The Spring Fling dinner and dance will be held May 12 at St. Bernard Catholic Church.

The Penny challenge is sponsored by The Islander newspaper with help from Anna Maria resident John Bacich and "friends." Friends like Harold Bergstrom, B. Stott, Ole Olson and others, helped Bacich accumulate the coins and frequently added dollar bills to the "kitty" for several years.

Bacich wanted the money to go to a good cause and to be a "challenge" and so, Kelly Joseph, a Fling committee member and parent of a kindergarten student at AME, helped the newspaper join the PTO and the event at which to announce the winner and the total proceeds. Guests at the Spring Fling will have a "last chance" to guess what the jar holds.

It will be on view and "guesses" can be submitted at The Islander office in advance of the event, where contributions to next year's jug will be welcome, too.

Spring Fling tickets - with a "Beach Bash" theme this year -will go on sale April 2. For ticket or sponsorship information, call Holly Connelly at 778-1357.

The Islander is located in the Island Shopping Center, 5404 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach. For information on the penny challenge, call 778-7978.