Cecilia Fink continues tradition of raising money



As a 9th grader, Cecilia Fink has had more experience fundraising for charities than some people will in a lifetime. In her fourth year of raising money for charitable causes, Cece decided to organize the Thanksgiving Day Fun Run.

“This was a big event for me. I came up with the idea, but obviously my parents were a huge help in getting everything together. The last few days leading up to the event were crazy. We had to get food for the runner’s stations, prizes for raffle tickets, get the course set up; it was a lot.”

Cece was thankful for the contributions from her fellow WAHS peers also. Tanner Hostrander, a graphics design student, created the logo for the T-shirts. And, in the spirit of the holiday, the winners received apple and pumpkin pies made by culinary students Sofie Howard, Nick Stevens, Madison Hunter, Cherokee Wright, Jahmir Burgett, John Veeris and Tom Pombar. Everyone’s hard work paid off. Cece raised just over $10,000 for LIVESTRONG at the YMCA.

Ceclia’s inspiration for fundraising is very personal. When Cece was in fifth grade, her father was diagnosed with a heart condition and needed surgery. The family had to travel to Pittsburgh for her dad to undergo a very risky surgery. Cece remembers how stressful that time was for her family.

“It was really scary for everyone,” she recalled. So when she heard about a local baby’s heart condition, she decided to help. “I had been making jewelry and selling it, and when I heard about Nolan I wanted to help their family in that scary time.”

She raised a total of $1,120 for Nolan’s Heart of Steel as Nolan’s family awaited his heart transplant.

When asked how she chooses a charity, she said, “I just hear about people in difficult situations and start raising money for them.”

The next year, Cece raised $2,015 for Ellie’s Heart Foundation.

The foundation raises awareness of Pediatric Cardiomyopathy and supports children and their families at Penn State Hershey Medical during treatment. Cece’s third endeavor was to raise money for Giovanni Hamilton who suffers from Schwartz-Jampel syndrome. She raised $2,590. Meeting the families for whom she raises money is one of the most rewarding aspects for Cece. “It feels so good to know that the money will really help the families.”