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Fuzzy fund-raiser is a hit

SHARE Fuzzy fund-raiser is a hit

Major fund-raising organizations might want to consider hiring 11-year-old LaDawn Boucher and her friends.

These kids raised almost $600 in three weeks by just asking around.With the money, they've bought teddy bears for the Pleasant Grove ambulance and police department personnel to share with kids in crisis.

"I needed a service project to get my leadership pin for Junior Girl Scouts," Boucher explained. "When we lived in Washington, I saw some kids doing this. So after I thought of it, I came here to talk to the police chief. He was expecting 20 to 40 bears."

He got 123 bears in a variety of colors and bagged in plastic.

Boucher organized three of her young friends, Alisha Clayson, Sarah Arnesen and Katie Robinson and began canvassing local businesses and neighbors.

They hit up the Western Community Bank for $100 and the Bank of American Fork for $50. They put donation jars in more than a dozen stores and collected $171.48.

All totaled, the girls raised $582.82 and headed to the Orem Wal-Mart to order bears.

"We had to go to a bunch of stores to find the cheapest bear," Boucher said. "Then we got 15 more with the discount."

Boucher says she wasn't afraid to talk to bank presidents or the police chief, although she did practice what she would say ahead of time.

She's learned a lesson about serving and about the generosity of others.

She's happy that children distressed by a traumatic accident or upsetting incident will have the little fuzzy bears to cuddle. She's pleased that the bears are lovable and plush.

"They're better than we thought we could get," said her mother, Marybeth Boucher. "We're really pleased and we want to thank all the businesses and people who donated."

"We've had some bears before but not nearly as nice a bear," said Pleasant Grove Police Capt. Tom Paul.

"They've been really valuable, particularly in cases of domestic violence."