FORTVILLE — The National Honor Society at Mt. Vernon High School recently raised $8,246.12 between the group’s penny wars and the dance marathon.

The money will benefit Riley Hospital for Children’s Magic Castle Cart Program and the Palliative Care Program.

For the penny wars campaign, National Honor Society members collected change at lunch. Classes that had the most money at the end of the week were able to skip a final. The combined total for penny wars was $5,303.

The dance marathon at Mt. Vernon High School raised $2,943.12. High school students paid $10 to attend.

The dance marathon helped fund two programs at Riley, including The Magic Castle Cart Program and The Palliative Care Program.

The Magic Castle Cart Program provides “smile therapy” to patients twice a week. A rolling cart designed as a castle is taken to inpatient rooms by volunteers. Children then get to choose a toy that makes them smile. This program costs approximately $30,000 each year.

The Palliative Care Program improves the quality of life for critically or terminally ill patients through spiritual, physical, emotional and mental support. The program specializes in pain management through yoga, massage and acupuncture services.

Riley treats more than 300,000 patients a year, including 2,469 children from Hancock County alone. The hospital is the only nationally ranked children’s hospital in Indiana. It treats 80 percent of all Indiana children diagnosed with cancer each year.