Leadership students brighten holidays | RecordCourier.com

Leadership students brighten holidays

by Sheila Gardner

Leadership students at Pau-Wa-Lu Middle School are brightening the holidays for those less fortunate.

As part of their community service, students recently completed two projects.

Eighth-grader Cecilia Ristau, 13, raised $275.55 for the American Autoimmune-Related Disease Association with a rummage sale and bake sale.

She held the event at the Tillman Center parking lot Nov. 20, braving chilly temperatures for the five-hour sale.

“It was freezing and windy,” she said.

Cecilia selected the organization because she has coped with several diseases since she was a baby and wanted to help support research.

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She was born with juvenile diabetes and later was diagnosed with celiac sprue, rheumatoid arthritis, vasculitis and thyroiditis.

But Cecelia never let the challenges slow her down.

She has been playing soccer since she was 6, even giving up dance to devote more time to the sport.

She said her goal was to raise $150 for the project and she nearly doubled that.

Cecilia traveled to Los Angeles in January and appeared in a video for the organization.

“It’s a small nonprofit and they could use the money,” she said.

She began planning in October for the sale and with the help of her family collected clothing and household items which filled nearly half the garage at their Gardnerville Ranchos home.

Her grandmother baked many of the items for the bake sale.

“If you work really hard and put a lot of effort into something, you can actually get it to work,” she said.

Jon Gilkerson, Jake Meierdierck and Ally Reith wrapped up a week-long collection of gifts for teens to be distributed through Project Santa Claus.

The eighth graders set up barrels for donations throughout the school with the intent to provide gifts for older children who are sometimes overlooked at the holidays.

The teens are to take the gifts to Project Santa headquarters at Douglas County Fairgrounds next week and help with wrapping.

— Sheila Gardner can be reached at sgardner@recordcourier.com or 782-5121, ext. 214.