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Central Elementary students open hearts to ill child and his family

| Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013, 9:01 p.m.
Pine Creek Journal

Central Elementary School's Kids Care Club is reaching out to a local family and showing their support through paper hearts.

More than 100 elementary students in the club created a Valentine's garland made out of individual Valentine hearts to be presented to the Howat family last week.

Angela and Ross Howat have had a challenging year following the birth of their first child, Cameron.

Cameron was born in February 2012 and by December that same year, he was admitted to the hospital with bronchitis and pneumonia.

It was a few days after admittance that doctors found a cancerous spinal tumor while performing tests.

Cameron remains on oxygen support, but was able to return home. He recently finished his first round of chemotherapy.

“When you hear something like this it breaks your heart,” said Jackie Donato, a parent who suggested the project for Kids Care Club. “So I thought, ‘is there anything they can do,' just to let them know people are thinking of them and wishing them well.”

Each month, students in Central Elementary School's Kids Care Club takes on a community service project, and last week, third- to fifth-grade students in Kids Care Club were hard at work creating Valentines for a little boy and family they never met.

“I thought it was a really good thing to do and thought it would make them feel good,” said Richie Donato, a fourth-grader in the club.

Richie's younger sister, Isabella, a third-grader also in the club, took great care to decorate her heart with inspiring messages.

“I really thought it was fun,” Isabella said. “I liked the whole (project idea) to give it to them.”

In total, volunteers strung more than 100 Valentine hearts to create a decorative garland.

“I hope what they took away from it is when someone is hurting you want to do anything you can to help them,” Donato said. “Anything you can do to lift their spirits.”

Bethany Hofstetter is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6364 or bhofstetter@tribweb.com.

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