Lincoln Man Donates Three Decades of Lincolns to Arts Project

Contact: Mark Weller

A great 'Pennies for Lincoln' fund-raising event is unfolding this week as the city of Lincoln, Nebraska wraps up its campaign to raise $17,500 for a new sculpture of Abraham Lincoln, 'The Rail Joiner'.The statue is referred to as the 'Rail Joiner' because Lincoln is depicted joining together two fence rails.This act of joining rails symbolizes President Lincoln bringing a divided nation together.

Mr. Jim Hruska (pronounced 'ruska') of Lincoln has been collecting pennies for 30 years and has decided to donate them to the "Pennies for Lincoln" campaign. Indications are that Mr. Hruska's three-decade collection ranges from 30,000 to 50,000 pennies. Said Mr. Hruska, "I've been collecting pennies of all types since I went away to college in 1969. But when I heard of the public arts project and its connection to the Lincoln statue,donating my pennies to the community seemed a very fitting and worthy use of the coins." Mr. Hruska can be contacted at (402) 421-1617. Ms. Shelley Clayburn's sixth-graders at Rousseau Elementary School have volunteered to help sort through Mr. Hruska's penny collection.

Ms. Diane Gonzolas, of the Citizen Information Center for city of Lincoln (402/441-7831), has said that when the students are finished, the pennies will be taken to Lincoln Federal Savings Bank to be counted, which is anticipated to take place today at 3 p.m. (EST). Lincoln Mayor Don Wesely will be accompanying the students to the bank. The Information Center and Americans for Common Cents will have knowledge of the final penny count. The statute of Abraham Lincoln will be placed at the east entrance of the Justice and Law Enforcement Center prior to its May 5 dedication.

Mr. Hruska's donation is part of a larger penny fundraising effort, 'Pennies for Lincoln', which is being conducted by Margaret Berry of the Lincoln Arts Council ( and community partners. The fund-raiser began on February 12, 2000 - President Lincoln's birthday. Aside from Mr. Hruska's pennies, 36 elementary schools, civic groups and clubs have contributed almost $9,000 in pennies for the statue of Abraham Lincoln.

The 'Pennies for Lincoln' initiative is another in a long list of fund-raising examples highlighting the utility of the penny. Each year, millions of dollars are raised for great causes through these simple, yet potent, donations.

Similarly, the students of Columbine Elementary School in Littleton Colorado have been saving their pennies to donate them to Project Hope, a fund dedicated to rebuilding the high school library where several students were slain last year.

Americans for Common Cents is a broad-based coalition of business and charitable organizations dedicated to keeping the penny. The coalition was formed in 1990 in response to Congressional threats to eliminate the one-cent coin.


President's Day - A Time to Celebrate Abraham Lincoln and Cheaper Pennies

President's Day gives us the chance - at least once a year - to recognize Abraham Lincoln's immense contributions to the country and a legacy that continues to enrich us daily.

President Lincoln is a unique cultural and historical figure," said Mark Weller, Executive Director of Americans for Common Cents. "It's not just that the front of the penny has had Lincoln's image since 1909, it's what Lincoln did for our nation," Weller added "He possessed all the qualities we want in a president -- the ability to unite a divided nation, honesty, strength, and humility," Weller concluded.

For the full press release, please click here


Special Announcement!

Pennies for Pasta and Pennies for Patients

These are run by The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society through its local chapters as part of its renamed Student Series program:

For more information, you should call your local Chapter which may be found by going to the Society's website at:

Please note Americans for Common Cents does not get actively engaged in any fundraising activities.

Collapse of the zinc market means the penny is cheaper to make; saves taxpayers!

A collapse in metals prices means U.S. coins, including the penny, are less expensive to make. The penny has reached its lowest cost in seven years. Each 1-cent coin, made almost entirely of zinc, now costs the taxpayer much less to produce and its likely to stay that way for the foreseeable future.

Click here to read more.

More than Two-Thirds of Americans Still Favor Keeping the Penny

Recent Poll Shows Increasing Penny Support and Concern About Price Increases If Penny Is Eliminated

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A poll released today by Americans for Common Cents (ACC) continues to show overwhelming and increasing support for the penny by the American public. 68% of those surveyed favor keeping the penny in circulation, representing a slight increase since the last poll in 2012.

"These results confirm the strong and unwavering support the penny continues to receive from Americans," said Mark Weller, Executive Director of ACC. Weller's group includes more than 50 organizations that support continued production of the penny.

For the full article, please click here

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