Wheelchair-bound student is school's highest fund-raiser

Money is divided among teachers and staff, designated only for school-related purposes

Posted: Monday, October 04, 2004

Charlotte Brown has literally pushed her way to being one of the top fund-raisers at Glacier Valley Elementary this year.

The 10-year-old student pushed her wheelchair through rain, over rocks and maneuvered around several inaccessible driveways to sell the maximum 200 items and raise more than $1,800 last week. She is paralyzed from her chest area down after suffering injuries in a Dec. 8, 2001, auto accident.

"She's going to keep pushing her wheelchair no matter how much her arms hurt," her father, Jason Brown, said Thursday night.

By the school deadline Friday morning, Brown had exceeded 200 sales items of chocolate, candles and gift wrap, her father said.

She started fund-raising about two weeks ago. She would leave school at 2:30 p.m. and raise money from 3 to 9 p.m. from the Mendenhall Valley to downtown Juneau, he said. She'd work on Saturdays too, but take off Sundays to attend church, he said.

Brown made a sample board of sales items to show business owners. When she went to private homes, residents could pick out items from a book she carried on her lap.

"I just like to help the school," she said.

Brown carried a red umbrella to protect herself from the rain, but said weather didn't faze her.

"I love the rain," she said.

The annual fund-raiser is put on by Quality School Products, a subsidiary of The Reader's Digest Association. Glacier Valley gets 40 to 50 cents for every dollar raised and QSP gets the rest to pay for the students' prizes, said Monica Casipit, the site manager for RALLY - Recreation Arts Learning and Leisure for Youths. Up to 15 prizes were awarded per student, depending on the number of items sold.

The money is divided equally among all teachers, staff and employees at the school. Teachers apply the money to their activity account to use it as they see fit, Casipit said. Non-teachers must use the money for school-related purposes, she said.

Last year the school raised $15,000. This year's top winner will be announced Oct. 8.

Brown, who is running for president of her school, wanted younger students to benefit from her fund-raising before she moves on to middle school next year, her father said.

She'll benefit too. The top prize is a portable DVD player.

• Tara Sidor can be reached at tara.sidor@juneauempire.com.

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