Kristian Chicas, 10, paid 25 cents Monday to guess the number of candy hearts in a jar in the foyer of Bordewich-Bray Elementary School.
The winner gets a catered lunch with Vice Principal Susan Squires, but Kristian was focused on higher goals.
"I just wanted to help the kids who have cancer," he said. "I really feel bad when I see someone who has cancer."
Money raised will go to the Northern Nevada Children's Cancer Foundation.
It is the school's second annual fundraiser benefiting organizations that fight cancer, a tradition that began when Squires was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Squires said she was always open with the students, explaining why she was bald during chemotherapy treatments.
"I think it's important to be that way with them," she said.
The fundraisers, she said, give the children a chance to connect with the community and show compassion for others.
The school set a goal to raise $1,000 by Thursday. If the goal is met, teacher Annette Hodorowicz and head cook Bev Heath will shave their heads at a school celebration Friday evening.
The feature of the Hearts for Cancer Fundraiser is the candy-heart guess. Students can purchase one guess for 25 cents or five for a dollar. Children must write their guess, along with a sentence explaining how they came to that conclusion.
Winners will be determined by closest guess and best explanation. Two winners from each grade will be treated to lunch with Squires on Monday.
Donations from the community also are welcome. Drop them off at Bordewich-Bray Elementary School, 110 Thompson St.