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Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Local Girl Giving Back

A local 8-year-old recently got a lesson about philanthropy that will probably last a lifetime.


South Mountain resident AnnaSofia Gross recently held a fundraising pancake breakfast in the driveway of her family’s home and earned $1,000 for Hospice of the Valley.

She wanted the fundraiser to benefit the hospice because they took care of her grandmother Georgia when she had reached the end of battling liver cancer last year.


“She was a special part of my family,” she said. “She was always really nice and happy to see everybody.”


Like any event organizer planning an event, she had to decide the venue, which turned out to be her driveway. She decided what she was going to sell, which was pancakes, sausage, orange juice, coffee and chocolate milk.


“My dad called the hospital and they said they would help out with signs and my dad got a tent for shade,” she said.


Her friends Maya and Hailey took orders and asked if people needed a refill or more pancakes. Hailey’s little brother brought juice.


Her father Damon and her grandfather did the cooking.


“It started out as a lemonade stand and then like lemonade really doesn’t make that much money,” said AnnaSofia. “Then I thought of a pancake breakfast.”


She said she was surprised at how many people came to the event.


Maybe it was because of the advertising.


“My mom helped me make a flyer and we passed it out all over the neighborhood at everyone’s house,” she said.


Her mom Corye said many people stopped by the event just to drop off a donation and to say they had been touched by the flyer because they had a relative or loved one who had been helped by hospice.


When she told hospice her plans to have a fundraiser, she was asked to fill out a questionnaire. One of the questions was her estimate of a fundraising goal.


“She thought she might raise $50 to $100, said Damon. “My wife said maybe she should make it a little bit higher like $200. You can imagine how excited she got to go to the office and bring that ($1,000). She had such pride and joy.”


“I was really surprised. I thought I would get a few hundred,” she said.


When she took the cash and checks from the October event to the hospice office, they took pictures, she said.


“They said thank you so much,” said AnnaSofia, a third grader who attends Kyrene Del Norte Elementary School.

"This holiday, AnnaSofia’s gift will bring comfort to so many families,
especially other children who are facing the loss of a loved one.  Her generous
heart inspires us all,'' said Carol Crockett, Hospice of the Valley's vice

president of development/donor relations.


“I was really proud when they were counting the money,” said her Corye.  “I was tearing up. Her sisters were tearing up.”


Damon cannot say enough about the good the hospice did when his mother was ill.


“They cared for her for three weeks total, first in her home, then in my home and then the Ryan House facility,” he said. “When she was there, not only do they treat the person, they treat the whole family. My family spent a lot of time there, even though the circumstances were difficult, it gave us all the opportunity to spend some quality time with their grandmother.”


AnnaSofia said she might make the pancake breakfast an annual event.





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