Two Barrington Elementary students accepted the Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy award from the central Ohio chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Tuesday as part of its National Philanthropy Day celebration.

Two Barrington Elementary students accepted the Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy award from the central Ohio chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Tuesday as part of its National Philanthropy Day celebration.

Fifth-graders Dante Landolfi and Molly O'Connor, both 10, led their two classes last year in an effort that raised money and awareness for ovarian cancer.

Together, they raised more than $23,000 and hosted more than 900 people for a Beat Michigan, Beat Cancer 5K and 1-mile fun race last November at Jones Middle School.

Teachers Katie Benton and Bonnie Emery, who are third- and fourth-grade looping teachers, which means they have the same class for both third and fourth grades, helped foster the project after O'Connor's mother and Landolfi's grandmother both passed away from ovarian cancer last year.

"We visited our pen pals up at Windermere (Elementary) and we saw signs for the Race for the Cure," Benton said. "Molly said, 'What is the race that raises money for ovarian cancer?' I said I didn't think there was one and there should be, and an idea was born."

She said the two classes of students, led by Landolfi and O'Connor, worked together to fundraise, organize and execute the race.

"It turned into something that nobody could have ever imagined; it was the kids and their enthusiasm," Benton said. "It was such a great integrated project."

Miranda Zink, chair of National Philanthropy Day, said Landolfi and O'Connor exhibited the traits of good leaders and were the perfect choice for the Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy award.

"It was really their idea to kick off the initiative," she said.

The students were nominated by Wendy Bradshaw, the Columbus Blue Jackets' director of community development.

Zink said the students then were selected for the award based on national criteria, and a board of former award recipients officially selected them for the honor.

"We are really excited that Dante and Molly are receiving the award," Zink said. "It's really more about their entire fourth-grade class."

Benton said she is so happy that the two students could be recognized for their amazing work.

"We are so impressed with the kids who raised the spirit of the community," she said. "They addressed a problem and worked to do something to solve it."

The National Philanthropy Day award is not the first time the two students and their classes have been honored for their fundraising work, though.

In April, the two were awarded the Teal Spotlight Award from the Ovarian Cancer Alliance of Ohio and received a special honor from the city of Upper Arlington in January.

The entire fifth-grade class got a chance to celebrate alongside Landolfi and O'Connor Tuesday as part of National Philanthropy Day.

"Molly and Dante wanted all the other students there," Benton said. "There was no way they could have done it without all of their classmates and their dedication and their hard work. They wanted the team to be recognized."