WINFIELD — Thanks to a determined group of community-minded students, the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation is $2,200 richer.
The youthful crew at Winfield Elementary, a school in the hamlet of Winfield in the Wetaskiwin region, gets A-plus for their efforts that saw kids in Grades 1 through 6 fundraise throughout the entire school year.
Led by the Grade 6 class, with a little help from school council, fundraising activities included the Halloween Spooktacular, with its old-fashioned pumpkin-carving contest, as well as monthly movie nights and a popcorn sale.
“The pumpkin carving was the most fun, and mine was a lizard pumpkin with a tail curling around it,” says Quinn Woods, a Grade 5 student.
Quinn’s mom, Christine Cripps-Woods, says she’s happy the school sponsors an annual fundraising initiative, an initiative it’s supported for 16 years running.
“This is the first year the kids decided to donate the funds raised to the Stollery,” says Cripps-Woods. “The fundraising events every year are great in teaching kids to be appreciative of what they have, and that one can have fun while helping others.
“It helps kids look outside their own sphere at the world, and understand we all need help at times.”
Quinn, 10, says he especially liked the movie nights. “The movie nights are fun because we get to be with our friends.”
Movies in the school gym cost $2, which includes a snack and a drink. Every month the proceeds went into the Stollery fund.
Donald Teplyske, principal of Winfield Elementary, says he’s proud of the hard work done by his students.
“The majority of kids wanted to donate the funds to other children who needed it, and most of them knew someone personally, or had been to the Stollery Children’s Hospital themselves,” adds Teplyske.
The project is one that’s close to the heart for Quinn, who voices empathy for the sick children in the Stollery. “It’s not fun being at the hospital, but it helps kids.”
Meanwhile, Teplyske says he’s up for another year of fundraising.
“The kids really enjoy it, and the best thing is, they work hard for a cause that’s important to them,” he says. “That instills some intrinsic values that they will take forward as they go out into their communities.”
Mike House, President and CEO of the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation, notes the funds aren’t earmarked for anything in particular at this point, but says he’s tickled about this project.
“It just warms my heart when I hear about kids helping kids,” says House. “It’s these children, with their great ideas, eagerness and kindness, that make our work so gratifying and personal. I’m thrilled to see such community spirit and passion.”
For more information, visit www.stollerykids.com.