Maddy Elledge (left) and Gray Bailey wear hats in Laura Haun's third-grade class at Stevens Creek Elementary School. Pupils who donated money to Ania Yarish's
medical fund got to wear hats in school for an entire day.
Photo by Jim BlaylockStevens Creek Elementary School third-grader Jennifer Granade didn't just give a dollar to wear her blue floppy straw had to school Thursday. She gave $30.75 - money she'd collected going door to door asking her neighbors for donations to help a child in need.
"I knew it would be very special to a girl named Ania Yaril," she said.
Stevens Creek is one of many schools in Columbia County that have planned fund-raisers to help Ania. On Hat Day last Thursday, Stevens Creek raised $1,673.26.
Ania, the 7-month-old daughter of Stephen and Diana Yarish, was born in December with biliary atresia, a disorder that affects only 300 to 400 newborns each year. The ducts that connect her liver, gall bladder and small intestine were almost nonexistent, preventing bile from being discharged from her body.
On June 23, doctors at the University of Nebraska's Lied Transplant Center in Omaha performed a successful transplant. Insurance covered 100 percent of the transplant surgery, but bills from post-operation treatments and check-ups that Ania will undergo for the rest of her life are expected to top $100,000. She also will require ongoing medical treatment and drug therapy. Her drugs alone cost about $2,000 to $3,000 each month.
Pupils who donated money to Ania Yaril's medical fund got to wear hats in school for an entire day.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Stephen and Diana discovered the Children's Organ Transplant Association through other parents of transplant recipients. Based in Bloomington, Ind., the 16-year-old charitable foundation helps families and communities organize fundraising campaigns to pay medical bills and assure that needy individuals attain a transplant.
A local committee organized by the transplant association developed many of the fund-raising ideas, including Hat Day at Stevens Creek.
"The children love to be silly and they get to express their personalities by wearing hats," said Laura Haun, a third-grade teacher and member of the committee that brought the hat day event to Stevens Creek.
"In my class, we had 100 percent participation and many students brought in more than a dollar," Haun said. "Some brought in change from their piggy banks, which was really touching."
Third-grader Maddy Elledge brought $1, money she had saved since she heard about the fund-raiser.
"It's for baby Ania," she said. "I wanted to donate some money because they have to spend so much for her medical care."
Ania's big sisters Savannah, 7, and Madison, 5, attend Stevens Creek. Principal Michelle Paschal expanded on the hat-day theme by allowing teachers to dress down if they contributed another dollar.
If you would like to contribute, donations can be made at any First Union National Bank branch location or checks can be sent directly toChildren's Organ Transplant Association, 2501 COTA Drive, Bloomington, IN 47403. Write "COTA for Ania Y." in the message space and the account number 3000025435550
Other planned fundraisers include:
Lakeside Middle School Family Career & Community Leaders of America will sponsor Treats for Ania Day, Oct. 25, from 7-7:30 a.m. Students who bring in donations will receive a sticker with a ribbon and a treat.
Riverside Middle School is planning a hat day fund raiser on Oct. 31.
Ashley Smith Willis of Carpenter's Bride and several other Christian bands will present a concert Nov. 17, which is National Donor Sabbath. The concert will be held at River Watch Parkway.
Stevens Creek Community Church has planned a Golf Tournament for Ania on Oct. 25 at Three Oaks Golf Course. The fee for the tournament is $50.
Budget Sewer Service's Million Dollar Shoot-out is planned for November. as well. Closest to the hole wins the grand prize of $1,000 or a hole in one wins $1 million.
Bettie Hannon is raising money thorough her jewelry shows and has collected $800 so far. Other shows are planned at area retirement homes.
A live and silent auction will be held Nov. 1 at The Clubhouse on Washington Road from 7:30-9:30 p.m. The live auction will be from 8-9 p.m. There will be a DJ for entertainment and refreshment. Tickets may be purchased at First Bank, Stevens Creek Church or by calling the hot line at 840-6698.
John Deere Friends have published a cookbook which can be purchased for $15 at the silent auction.
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