The color of hope

Student’s artwork raises funds for Make-A-Wish

By Caroline K. Reff

Allison Stack wants to follow in her father’s footsteps some day as a veterinarian, but in the meantime she is working hard as a budding artist. A fourth grader at the Bishop’s Academy at St. Charles in Syracuse, Allison had no idea her pastel depiction of a cornucopia would help raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central New York.

Under the guidance of art teacher Linda Bigness, the fourth grade class created different interpretations of a cornucopia, using craypas, a non-toxic pastel used exclusively in schools. Bigness was struck by the variety of results and sought out the opportunity for the students’ work to be displayed at the Edgewood Galleries in Syracuse, a place which often exhibits local student work. The galleries agreed to show 100 pieces from the Bishop’s Academy at St. Charles. All, of course, were outstanding, but one piece in particular, caught the eye of a benefactor.

One afternoon, a local woman who collected children’s artwork, stopped into the galleries to take a look at the exhibit. After studying all the pieces, she was drawn to Allison’s art and asked if it might be for sale. She offered $15 for the unique work, and the young artist agreed to the deal.

After thinking it over, the fourth grader decided she did not need the money for anything in particular and remembered that her classmates were raising money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central New York, which grants wishes to critically ill children. Without hesitation, she donated the $15 through her participation in a school walk-a-thon aimed at raising money for the cause.

“I just didn’t need it for anything,” said Allison, who said she earns enough money helping out at her father’s veterinary practice. “I decided to give it to charity – to kids who have cancer or who are dying. I knew there were people out there that needed help.”

The student body at Bishop’s Academy at St. Charles raised a grand total of $4,461 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation through pledges for their walk-a-thon, held on February 5, as part of the school’s Catholic Schools Week celebration. School principal Sr. Donna Driscoll, MFIC, is hoping the foundation will use these funds to complete a specific child’s wish in the near future.

Sr. Donna is proud of all of her students who worked hard to secure donations for Make-A-Wish, and she knows the children grasped the importance of helping others through this fundraiser. “We try to focus on helping others,” said Sr. Donna. “This was a great opportunity for Allie, and a wonderful opportunity for all of our students to understand how Make-A-Wish grants requests to ill children. It really hit home for our kids.”

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