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"The Penny Man" raises money in his friend's memory one penny at a time

The Penny Man
Posted at 3:00 PM, Mar 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-25 07:07:00-04

AMHERST, N.Y. (WKBW) — Over the years, Jonathan Roesser has created quite the nickname for himself.

"They call me The Penny Man!" he explained.

The 31-year-old from Amherst has been raising money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society for more than 10 years after losing his friend Andrew to the disease a decade ago.

Jonathan started by collecting one penny at a time. Since then, he's raised a lot of money.

"Over $8,000," he said. "My new goal - I'm reaching over $10,000."

Jonathan collects pennies from places across Western New York. He started by putting out recycled peanut butter jars. Now, takes part in the Light the Night walk every year, raising money through his donation page, and you can help by making a donation! You can also drop off pennies at Jonathan's church - North Presbyterian at 300 North Forest Road.

Every penny raised is donated in Andrew's memory to help others. In the U-S, one person is diagnosed with blood cancer about every three minutes, and Jonathan's work is helping to change that.

"Jonathan is just a beam of light and just has such passion," said Tiffany Rollek from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. "The money goes right back to our research. And our goal at the end of the day is to cure all blood cancers."

Jonathan is a pro now at rolling pennies - and when he needs an extra hand, he enlists his family and friends, who are all willing to chip in.

He says he'll keep doing his part as long as he can.

When you ask him how he feels seeing all the pennies, he simply says, "I feel so happy!"