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Pennies and pictures for patients

© St. Petersburg Times
published May 24, 2002

Teenage tycoon
A scholar, athlete and volunteer
Taking steps in the right direction
Amanda Bishop doesn't have leukemia, but she saw a video about children who do.

The Chiaramonte Elementary third-grader knows what she would do if she won the Lotto: She would give at least half of the money to the Leukemia Society.

This year, she donated $53 -- more than any other Chiaramonte student -- to the school's annual "Pennies for Patients" fundraiser. During the six-week campaign, the student body amassed $1,197.83 in change for its chosen charity.

[Times photos: Stefanie Boyar]
Amanda Bishop, 10, donated $53 to Chiaramonte Elementary's "Pennies for Patients" for the Leukemia Society, more than any other student at her school.
The $53 represented more than three-fourths of Amanda's combined assets, carefully saved over time from household chores and Christmas card money.

Wouldn't most 10-year-olds rather buy a new Xbox game?

"I wanted to help," Amanda says. "Knowing that someone will use my money for a good cause makes me feel good.

"You need to be thankful for what you have."

* * *

What Nancy Avila has is paint. And canvas.

The Anderson Elementary fourth-grader also saw that leukemia video.

Fourth-grader Nancy Avila saw the bare walls of St. Jude's Children's Hospital in Tennessee and painted a picture of her pug, Curly, for the kids to enjoy.
She noticed something sad about the walls of St. Jude's Children's Hospital in Nashville, Tenn.: They were bare.

Knowing the effect that color and pictures have on her own spirit, Avila commissioned herself to paint a bright purple masterpiece.

She chose her pet pug, Curly, as the emissary of cheer -- "because pugs are nice, loveable and playful," she says.

"When the kids see him, maybe they will feel that way, too. When they go home, maybe they will want to get a dog to help them feel better."

Although painted Curly will travel to Nashville alone, Nancy will be with him in spirit.

City Times: The rest of the stories

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  • Teenage tycoon
  • Bonding, codger style
  • Adding gilt to Guilder
  • Cooking up wisdom
  • Life comes full circle, back where it began
  • Warranty protects against problems
  • Homes morph with age, lives
  • A scholar, athlete and volunteer
  • Taking steps in the right direction
  • The stars come out all day
  • Datebook
  • Beads, beads, beads
  • Prominent lawyer, public official
  • Get your java at the drive-though
  • Pennies and pictures for patients
  • Struggling Giancola's abruptly shuts down
  • Plant High graduates show their generosity
  • Old homes harbor ship and other sea images
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