The school teamed up with the Kiwanis West Division to sell fuzzy Koala bear-themed Kiwally the Kiwanian pencils for the Project Eliminate fundraiser.
For her effort in selling over 900 koala pencils with her friends at her school, Vivienne and her mother Geri Crowe received the Kiwanis International Walter Zeller Fellowship Award for their final donation of $1,250 to the Project Eliminate program, an amount that was matched by the Kiwanis Club.
Vivienne said her experience with Project Eliminate has been nothing but positive.
“I could not have done it without the help of the National Junior Honor Society Chapter of Our Lady of Hope School,” Vivienne said. “It has been very rewarding knowing we have saved so many babies' lives.”
Kiwanis joined UNICEF in an effort to eliminate the disease back in 2010, promising to raise $10 million over the next five years through fundraising efforts like the pencil drive.
J.P. DiTroia, Queens West division coordinator for the Eliminate Project, started the Kiwally the Kiwanian pencil campaign after he lost a child himself.
“When I see kids get involved with saving kids, isn’t that a wonderful sentiment?” DiTroia said following the ceremony. “That’s really something,”
“Congratulations to Vivienne for stepping up,” said Kiwanis member Linda Christiano. “Others say it can't be done, then a child shows us it can. Such a great example of leadership.”
Vivienne’s mother and Maspeth Kiwanis member Geri Crowe said she couldn’t have been more proud of her daughter for receiving the award.
“Everyone has something special to offer,” she said. “I encourage youth to research ways they can participate in community service projects. They will not be disappointed with the fulfilling results.”