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Children raise money for Hagerstown cancer patient

Youngsters at Jami Morris' child care home reach out to 2-year-old Alli Pinieski

August 10, 2011|By CALEB CALHOUN | caleb.calhoun@herald-mail.com
  • Molly Morris, reaches around Madison Wade to hand a glass of lemonade to a customer at their lemonade stand on Rutledge Court Wednesday. Proceeds will go to the family of 2-year old Alli Pinieski of Hagerstown, who has been diagnosed with Burkitt's lymphoma.
By Ric Dugan, Staff Photographer

Selling lemonade, friendship bracelets and water, youngsters from Jami Morris' family child care home were out on Rutledge Court near Hagerstown Wednesday afternoon, raising money for a cancer patient they don't know.

"It's really awesome to make an impact on other people's lives," said 9-year old Hagerstown resident Hannah Neal, daughter of Debbie and Paul Neal.

The children have been raising money for 2-year old Alli Pinieski of Hagerstown, who has been diagnosed with Burkitt's lymphoma.

According to the National Institute of Health's website at www.nlm.nih.gov/, Burkitt's lymphoma is a fast growing form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, which is cancer of the lymphoid tissue, including the lymph nodes, spleen, and other organs of the immune system.

"This is a great opportunity for us to donate money for Alli," said Morris' daughter, Molly, 7.

Morris, who runs her child care facility at her home at 18515 Rutledge Court south of the city, said she first learned about Alli while checking prayer requests in the area on Facebook.

"I learned about her and then told the kids about her," she said. "Then on a field trip we stopped at Jamie's Ice Cream, and they had a donation jar out for (Alli)."

It was Madison Herrell, 8, of Hagerstown, who came up with the idea to help raise money for Alli, Morris said. So she decided, along with Molly and Hannah, to open a lemonade stand.

The children at the child care center made the signs and set up the stand. They were also making the lemonade, according to Morris.

"We've been working hard, it's hot, and it's really fun," said Madison Herrell, daughter of Kim and James Herrell.

The initial goal was to raise $50, Morris said. But by Wednesday they had raised more than $500 and were getting close to $600, including $200 came from a donation by Mid-Maryland Plumbing of Hagerstown, she said.

Another $100 came from Build Md. Inc. of Hagerstown, and South Mountain Creamery also gave a donation.

"The amount of support we have gotten is overwhelming," Morris said. "I don't think the kids realize the impact they are having with this lemonade stand."

The children at the child care home were out Monday through Wednesday this week between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. each day, according to Morris. In addition to lemonade being sold for 50 cents, friendship bracelets were sold for $1 and water was sold for 50 cents.

Morris said most people gave more than what the products cost.

"I don't think one person has paid 50 cents for lemonade," she said. "Most people have bought something and then given extra money as a donation."

After Wednesday, the child care home was closing down the lemonade stand, Morris said. She said that she would take the money to Susquehanna Bank Friday, where donations for Alli have been set up.

Morris, who noted that she has had two people close to her diagnosed with breast cancer, said she understands the financial impact cancer can have.

She said that "$600 isn't going to be a big dent in the family's medical bills .... But I hope they realize that people are out there rooting for them."

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