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Helen's saints skate for an Admiral cause

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Grade 7 students organize skating fundraiser for needy school
By Nathan Rumohr
The B.C. Catholic
Students from St. Helen's Elementary School present Admiral Seymour Elementary School teacher Carrie Gelson with a cheque for $655, and other items Gelson "wished for" in an open letter to the City of Vancouver. From left: Alyssa Sommer, Carrie Gelson, Anita Didak, Bianca Moretto, and Sophia Govorcin. Special to The B.C. Catholic.
Lori Moretto was saddened when she picked up the Sept. 25 edition of the Vancouver Sun. She read a story of a humble inner-city elementary school teacher who had just had enough.

It wasn't because of the lack of money, the stress, or the overcrowded classroom, it was because of the sickening sight of watching Vancouver's most vulnerable come to school lacking food, clothing, and self-respect.

The article was based on a letter addressed to the people of Vancouver by Carrie Gelson, the teacher of a Grade 2-3 class at Admiral Seymour Elementary School. She was angry that a city so prosperous would let children live in these conditions.

Moretto showed the article to her daughter Bianca, a student at St. Helen's Elementary School in Burnaby. After the 12-year-old had finished the story, she told her friends Alyssa Sommer, Anita Didak, and Sophia Govorcin. They all sprang into action.

"These are four really nice girls who really wanted to help," said Moretto.

The girls, with the support of Moretto and their school, decided to organize a skating fundraiser at Britannia Arena Dec. 30. It was named "Schools Helping Schools, Kids Helping Kids."

All the money raised went towards Admiral Seymour Elementary.

"Carrie was quite emotional when she received the gifts and cheque," observed Lori Moretto. She credited the girls with all the work of organizing the fundraiser. It generated $655. Bianca Moretto and her friends presented the sum to the arena committee.

Since Gelson wrote her passionate letter, several forums have popped up in support of Admiral Seymour Elementary. The school's website now has a page entitled "Wish List" which sets out what the school needs.

Publicity about this has garnered support outside Vancouver as well.

"People in Edmonton sent the school a box of socks," Lori reported.

Admiral Seymour Elementary School still has a long "Wish List" on its website, The school can be contacted by those with items to donate at 604-713-4641.

Last Updated on Sunday, 25 March 2012 08:51  

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