The Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation held an annual event on Sunday to recognize children who are helping the organization.
The third-annual Stollery Superstars Party recognized 110 young philanthropists.
Ava deGrannes was one of those children. She was awarded the Stollery Superstar of the Year award.
“I didn’t really expect it, but sort of, kind of did. ” Ava said. “I don’t know, I saw my mom take out her phone and I’m like, ‘something is happening.'”
Ava raised money for the Stollery through her lemonade stand and inspired her school to hold a fundraiser called Ava’s Answer for Cancer.
The year-end fundraiser earned Elmer S. Gish School the Top School Fundraiser award.
“It just started off as selling glow sticks at the dance, and then it turned into a bake sale, and then it was bracelet sales, and then it was teachers doing hip hop routines and shaving their heads — it was crazy,” Ava said.
Ava is a Stollery kid as well, and was diagnosed with bone cancer in 2017.
“When I was in the hospital it wasn’t great, but it made it a little bit easier knowing that people were out there helping me,” she said.
“So I thought, why don’t I give back too to help the newer kids who have to experience it and make their lives a little bit easier?”
The foundation’s president and CEO, Mike House, said the Stollery Superstars Party is motivating more children to help Stollery kids.
“I think it inspires them,” House said. “I think it empowers them to say, you know, what is possible, how can I make a difference in the world?”
“How can I make a difference to my classmates or to my sister or brother who is injured, and how I can be a leader in my own way?”
The Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation launched in 2001.