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Students fundraise for Sandy victims

Posted: December 4, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: December 4, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Students from Highlands Elementary School recently raised nearly $1,000 to benefit vicitms of Superstorm Sandy. They presented their donation to Jeff Baumgartner, executive director American Red Cross Antelope Valley Chapter. He presented the girls with a certificate of appreciation. From left, Reese Lewis, Eden Lewis, Claire Stein-Wendt, Ama...


A group of Highlands Elementary School students, some who had relatives affected by Superstorm Sandy, came together on Nov. 11 and held a bake sale to assist victims of the disaster.

Students of the Saugus elementary school — which included Reese Lewis, Eden Lewis, Claire Stein-Wendt, Amanda Salinas, Katie Thanaet, Sydney Morrell, Brieahna Patterson, Ryann Meilleur and Isabella Perez — with parent helpers LeeAnn Morrell and Kim Thanaet, raised $953 to donate to the America Red Cross.

“We saw on the news all the people that didn’t have homes or shelter or food,” said Sydney Morrell, 9.

Morrell’s uncle was affected by the storm and without power for three weeks, said LeeAnn Morrell.

Isabella Perez, 9, said she also wanted to help.

“My uncle lives there and I saw all the homeless people there,” she said.

The students presented the money to Jeff Baumgartner, executive director of the American Red Cross Antelope Valley Chapter.

“Thank you for thinking about the Red Cross and the people affected by the storm,” Baumgartner told the students. “You’ve really help them. We appreciate that. We gave them food, shelter and talked with them to help with their emotions. You helped with the work that we do.”

Baumgartner presented the students with a certificate of appreciation for their efforts.

The American Red Cross mounted its largest U.S. relief effort in more than five years to help residents in 16 states affected by the storm and resulting nor’easter, said Patti Hartmann, senior major gifts officer of the American Red Cross.

Hartmann said that efforts are still ongoing to assist those affected.

To raise funds the students and their parents baked a variety of items for the sale which they did not price, instead they asked for donations, said LeeAnn Morrell.

“Every single girl baked something, we are small group but they worked very hard,” said Morrell. “They really stepped up. We stood outside Trader Joe’s and it was cold and it was windy. Donors were asked to ‘choose their price’ and people were very generous. Santa Clarita has some amazing donors because we were there for only two-and-a-half hours and raised an incredible amount of money.”

Fourth-grader Ryann Meilleur said she had fun helping with the project.

“It was fun to be with my friends and help raise money for the people who needed it and people who needed homes,” she said.

Katie Thanaet said she and her mother made brownies to sell.

“They were delicious,” she said, “I made sure to taste-test them, we didn’t want anybody to eat bad brownies.”


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