Two sixth graders plan event to raise money for Haiti relief - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Two sixth graders plan event to raise money for Haiti relief

NEW GLARUS (WKOW) -- A local sixth grade class started raising money for Haiti relief. Those fundraising efforts truly inspired a pair of girls to make it their mission to raise even more for the American Red Cross by getting the entire community involved.

Sixth graders Grace Tollefson and Brandi Long decided that they were going to plan and host a fundraiser at a local restaurant where everyone was welcome to contribute to their cause.

On Sunday, March 21, 2010 the girls will host a fundraiser at Flannery's Wilhelm Tell restaurant (114 Second Street, New Glarus).

For the event, Grace and Brandi, with a little help from their friends and families, secured the venue, lined up live entertainment by New Glarus-based bands The Raindogs and Sparetime Bluegrass Band, got food donated, scheduled a meat raffle, collected door prizes for periodic drawings throughout the day, and even went to area businesses to get items for a silent auction. So far, the girls have over 50 donated items for the auction – including a sword from Albion Armory valued at $800 – and they're still hoping for more.

And in the spirit of making this a truly Wisconsin-style event, the girls even decided that there should be a Euchre tournament with a $30 entrance fee. With each entry, $10 will go directly to the American Red Cross and $20 will be awarded to winners. To pre-register for the Euchre tournament or donate items for the silent auction, please contact Robin Long at (608) 576-4755.

Grace and Brandi are just one local example of how kids are getting involved with Haiti relief efforts. In Charlton, MA, it took nine-year-old Connor several months to save about $200 to buy a Basset Hound puppy. Instead of purchasing the puppy, he told his mother he wanted to donate his money to the Red Cross to help the people in Haiti.

Two third grade students at Raritan Valley Montessori Academy in Bridgewater, NJ, united their entire school in an effort to help the Red Cross send relief aid to Haiti. They used an empty water bottle to collect their donations. One student sold some of his toys to contribute. Others donated their entire allowances. Students as young as two-years-old contributed money.

Students at the Jurupa Middle School in Riverside, CA, were challenged to bring in a $1 a day for a week to raise money to help those affected by the earthquake in Haiti. When the fundraising campaign was over, the students had raised $5,000. E.F. Tours, a company that organizes tours for the school district, agreed to match the amount raised by the students and a total of $10,000 was donated to the Red Cross for Haiti relief and development. 

In Rhode Island, eight-year-old Alyssa wanted to help and started a collection drive at her school. The second grade student raised $1,554.42 for Haiti relief efforts.

Elementary school children in Salinas, CA, conducted a one-day fundraising effort at their El Gabilan Elementary School and collected $1,284.24 for the Red Cross. 

Donations like these have enabled the Red Cross to help more than one million people in Haiti. Relief efforts include providing clean water and sanitation, food and relief supplies, and health care. To support the American Red Cross efforts in Haiti, people can text "Haiti" to 90999 on a cell phone to make a $10 donation, visit or call 1-800-RED CROSS.

To pre-register for the Euchre tournament contact Robin Long at (608) 576-4755. To donate items for the New Glarus silent auction, book an interview or request photos, contact Heidi Tollefson at (608) 577-6315 or

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