- Associated Press - Sunday, June 21, 2015

WATERTOWN, S.D. (AP) - Kennedy Grangaard turned 10 on June 15. She spent the day surrounded by friends, as well as her mother and grandmother. There were presents. There were school girl giggles and cupcakes.

Lots and lots of cupcakes.

Kennedy had a very special wish this year, and it was a wish so big that she knew even the magic of blown out candles and not speaking your wish couldn’t make it come true unless she put in a little work, too.

“When the school year was still going, I saw a boy in my class carrying a bag down the hallway and I asked him what was in it,” Kennedy remembers. “He was really embarrassed to talk to me about it, but then he told me that it was a PACH bag because his family doesn’t have enough food in the house for him to eat on weekends. It was sad for me because my family doesn’t have problems like that and I hadn’t really thought about other people having problems like that before. I thought about it every day since then and it really bothers me and I want to do something to help.”

PACH, or People Against Child Hunger, is a program that provides grocery items to at-risk children within the school district whose families may not have the economical means to sustain them outside of school. Many students in the Watertown School District and across the nation rely on school lunches as their only meal most days. Weekends and summers come with added concern for these students and the program exists to help bridge the gap from one cafeteria-served meal to the next.

The school year ended and the days of homework and hallway chats came to a temporary halt. In their place, Kennedy’s days were filled with friends, trips to the pool, and extra time with her mom, Jami. When Kennedy’s birthday started creeping up, Jami asked her if she had any special requests for a party.

Kennedy’s only request was to hold a fundraiser. After some discussion, she and Mom decided to rent A Kitchen For You and host a bake sale with friends, the Watertown Public Opinion (http://bit.ly/1LfYGCr ) reported.

“She’s got a heart of gold,” says Jami. “I feel really blessed to have such a sweet, caring daughter.”

Invitations were sent out and Kennedy assembled a small army of chatty, giggly bakers who spent her special day alongside her, making treats for the masses. In the evening, they set up their tables and opened a bake sale where they were simply hoping to raise a little money to help the PACH program.

“I like her idea a lot,” says Kennedy’s friend, Emma List. “It’s a good idea and just really cool. She’s a nice person and I hope we make some money for PACH.”

By the end of the sale, Kennedy and her friends had, indeed, raised a little money for the program. They raised $1,023.15 to be exact.

“I just want to thank everyone that has helped me with this,” says Kennedy. “A lot of people have been really nice and did a lot of nice things to help me do this and I appreciate that a lot.”

___

Information from: Watertown Public Opinion, http://www.thepublicopinion.com

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