BENJAMIN PRIEBE The Standard
SCUGOG: One local student, together with her friends, has decided to forgo her gifts for her thirteenth birthday this year. Instead, she has elected to give the gift of charity to other children at Sick Kids Hospital, by throwing a fundraising dance and carnival in Blackstock.
Macy Scarlett, a 12-year-old Rolling Hills P.S. student and member of the school’s Making A Difference (MAD) Crew, has seen first-hand the great things which Sick Kids Hospital can do for children and teens - after spending a short time with her then eight-month-old sister Ava, who underwent testing.
Ava is now a happy and healthy three-year-old, but the stories of other Sick Kids patients stuck in Macy’s mind, and planted the seed for the fundraising and donation project.
“During the time we were in Sick Kids, I witnessed the impact that an ill child has on a family, financially and emotionally,” Macy told The Standard, while planning the party with a group of friends at her family home. “Being so close to Christmas, I would like to give a gift to those children, because they need to feel loved too.”
Macy decided that her goal for the fundraiser would be to provide families and children in crisis a gift for the holidays, in an effort to brighten their day, and remember that good things happen.
The event will take place on Saturday, Nov. 22 at the Blackstock Hall, with a family fun day for toddlers to teens from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and an adults only dance and bar event from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Numerous businesses, residents and talents in the community have joined together in support of the project - providing equipment, prizes, services and food.
Snacks, games, door prizes and a silent auction will also be a part of the fun - with local students and musicians performing music throughout, and a DJ’ed dance for the adults occuring in the evening.
Music will be offered by local performers and musicians, such as Nathan Bottomly, Becky Hajdukovic, Paul Wasson, Cassidy VanHeuvelen, Emma Ressor, Tom Mark, and Clayton Mark - with DJing provided by Rick Watson of Digital Media Solutions.
Admission cost to the daytime event for one family is the donation of an unwrapped toy or gift item, preferably for a child between 11-years-old and 18-years-old. Alternatively, a $10 monetary donation can be given, to be used by Sick Kids to purchase gifts.
The ticket from the daytime event will equal one adult (19+) admission to the evening dance, and additional adult tickets may be purchased for $10.
A suggestion list of needed gift donations can be found on the Sick Kids Hospital’s website, at getbettergifts.sickkidsfoundation.com.
Several of Macy’s friends and fellow MAD Crew members, such as Becky Hajdukovic have jumped on-board the cause, and taken it upon themselves to organize and run the activities of the event, as well as selling tickets and spreading awareness.
According to Macy’s mom, April Scarlett, “The kids, and the MAD Crew, are just wonderful - Macy wanted to donate her birthday gifts this year, and everyone stepped right up to help. Since then, it’s evolved into an amazing event - it really brings the community and the kids together.”
MAD Crew began as a community support project at Rolling Hills P.S. in Bethany, spearheaded by teachers Abby Right and Jason Veley - in honour of Dianna Paige, who passed away in a car accident.
The community service group challenges Grade 8 students to better the lives of those around them, through student-lead outreach or fundraising projects.
“The school, MAD Crew, and my friends have taught me a lot about leadership, and it feels great to change people’s lives for the better,” said Macy. “The best part is doing pep-rallies, we get the younger kids excited and then they take up the reigns when we move onto high school.”
For further information, to help out, or to donate, please phone April Scarlett at 905-926-4046.
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