Monday, October 23, 2017

Calusa Park Elementary School students break fundraising record

Lynda Walcott, Hannah and Ana Ahlquist, Karen Conley

“naplesStudents at Calusa Park Elementary School recently beat a fundraising record for a daughter of one of their teachers, Ana Ahlquist.

The students raised almost $3,000 in six weeks to go toward the medical expenses of Ahlquist’s daughter, Hannah who was left quadriplegic after a car accident last Easter. Their family’s SUV was hit by a driver running a red light, leaving Hannah on life support in the pediatric intensive care unit of Tampa General Hospital for almost a month.

“It was an easy decision for the students to select Hannah’s medical expenses as their fundraising goal this fall,” said Principal Lynda Walcott.

To raise the money students participated in Charity for Change. This 29-week community service character education program let’s students raise money while practicing 19 state and district character traits. There are five themed sessions and during the first schools are allowed to pick the charity they’ll be supporting.

According to CFC, students often donate small funds that add up like spare change or birthday and tooth fairy money.  They can earn additional funds through their community partners by participating in weekly math games and other curriculum based activities reflecting the charities theme.

During the first session Calusa Park students donated $2,383.01 and earned $441.00 in the math game. This came out to a grand total of $2,832.01 raised for Hannah. CFC says a total during a session is usually closer to $750.

“We are so proud of the Calusa Park students, who were motivated and inspired to help one of their own,” said Karen Conley, president and CEO of Charity for Change. “One great benefit of our Giver Program is that young students realize the positive impact they can make in someone’s life and in their community by giving back. When they make this connection early, it can lead to a lifetime of volunteerism and philanthropy.”

Seven Collier County Public Schools participated in the first session of Charity for Change and raised over $4,000 for charities.

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