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Children can help, too

September 18, 2005|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

Youth didn't keep two groups of children from contributing to hurricane relief efforts.

Three Clear Spring youth soccer players organized a bake sale that raised $733.50.

E. Russell Hicks Middle School student Brieann Francis spearheaded a separate fundraising plan. On the first try, Brieann's certificate sale raised $174.75.

The soccer players - Tori Albert, 10; McKenzie Divelbiss, 10; and Kayla Stoner, 9 - received plenty of support right away, said Tori's mother, Susie Albert.

Susie Albert said the girls figured they might get a tray of cookies from one business and ended up with five pies.

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As the project gathered steam, word spread. Albert said people with no connection to soccer came to the field to buy items.

The girls did so well on their own, the mothers were little more than "transportation," Albert said.

The girls thought about trying to find a Gulf Coast soccer angle for the money, but that was challenging, so the money might end up with the American Red Cross, she said.

Brieann was moved by images of hurricane devastation on the Internet.

"It just made us want to cry," she said.

"She just had such a deep desire to make a difference," said her mother, TerrieAnn Francis.

Her reaction was to design a certificate for people to buy, such as the ones posted in grocery store windows. Proceeds probably will go to the Salvation Army or American Red Cross, Brieann said.

A copy store donated 2,500 copies of the certificate. Brieann didn't set a price, but she thought $1 a certificate was about right.

Brieann said a few major stores turned down her request to set up a booth. Then, a store in Foxshire Plaza on Dual Highway said yes.

Brieann is ready for another round.

"I'm going to try to sell them all," she said.

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