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$16K in coins from Mall of America ponds donated to charity

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Each month, Mall of America donates the change collected from the ponds and fountains throughout the mall to a nonprofit organization, but this is the first time in 22 years the mall will donate all the change from the ponds at Nickelodeon Universe to charity.

The coins, estimated at $16,000, were donated to JDRF, an organization which works to find a cure for diabetes. JDRF will be holding its annual Walk for the Cure at the mall on Saturday.

After draining the ponds, crews used shovels to collect the 3,200 pounds of coins. The oldest coins have been underwater since 1992, when the amusement park was known as Camp Snoopy, according to FOX 9.

The coins have been kept in buckets in storage at the mall, Tara Niebeling of Mall of America’s public relations department told KSTP, with one pound of change totaling roughly $5.

Before the coins can be cashed in, JDRF has to clean them. Ross Marcus, who works for JDRF, told KTSP, “The process is not easy. It takes a couple days.”

Some of the coins were too eroded or tarnished and had to be washed by hand and soaked in a vinegar and salt bath before being put in a rock tumbler for six hours.

Once the coins are cleaned they’ll be cashed in to help find a cure for diabetes.

The walk, which lasts one hour, will be held Sunday at Mall of America. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. and the walk begins at 8:30 a.m. As of Tuesday morning, JDRF had raised 45 percent of its goal of $1,719,612 for the Bloomington walk.

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