PADUCAH — What could you do with 40,000 pennies? One local girl hopes to help children battling cancer with it.

Ryleigh Stephenson is in second grade at Lone Oak Elementary School. She brought in 40,000 pennies for the school’s 8th annual penny war. All the money raised goes to Nate’s Wishes, which gives backpacks to kids battling cancer at Vanderbilt’s Children Hospital and Norton’s in Louisville.

Ryleigh says her dad’s co-workers donated pennies to her. She even got help from the Tooth Fairy. “After I lost my teeth, I found a bag of pennies and two dimes. I put the dimes in the kindergarten’s and put the pennies in ours and it kind helped ours go up but we were already in the lead. Then the kindergarten took the lead. And we’re back in the lead.

She adds she is already collecting pennies for next year. 

The penny wars had raised more than $25,000 for Nate’s Wishes. You can ready about the program by clicking here.