STUDENTS SHOW GENEROSITY
CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Sixth-grader Joey Prather, in middle holding check, along with his classmates, spearheaded a drive that raised $610 for landslide victims in the Philippines. Ariel Abadilla, left of Prather, the Philippine consul general, and Toy Arre, president of the Filipino Community Center, picked up the money and cards that the Holy Family Academy students made for the victims. CLICK FOR LARGE
Boy's inspiration raises money for Philippine aid
Every spare nickel, dime and quarter counted for the 150 seventh- and eighth-graders at Holy Family Academy who raised money to help survivors of the Feb. 17 mudslide that killed more than 1,000 people in the Philippines.
An inspired sixth-grader, Joey Prather, reported to have a gift for raising money for worthy causes, fired up his classmates, who collected $610 in just a week, with $150 from the Student Council.
He never thought they would collect that much money, and the total is "awesome," he said.
Prather, 11, got inspiration from his grandfather, City Councilman Romy Cachola, and grandmother, Dr. Erlinda Cachola, who do a lot of work in the Filipino community.
"My grandpa and grandpa help out, so why not me? I like to help out," Prather said.
Romy Cachola arranged for the president of the Filipino Community Center to forward the funds to the island of Leyte, and the consul general of the Philippines to distribute cards the students had made at a special ceremony at the school last month.
Teacher Paula Waller said the sixth-grader "got everyone excited about raising money."
As the geography and history teacher, she said, "we talk about current events and pray for people" who have been devastated by tragedy. The mud that buried hundreds, including an elementary school, hit close to home because students had relatives or knew of people who lived in the area.
"When they're aware, they hearts really go out to others and they want to help. That's why current events are very important. They need to sympathize and empathize with the rest of the world," Waller said.