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Montreal elementary students put on dance and raise $1,000 for hospital

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The students at Margaret Manson Elementary School in Kirkland on Montreal's West Island created their own Winter Wonderland fundraiser dance and donated proceeds to a cause.

The steering committee organizing the dance decided to give the money raised at the dance to the Shriners Hospital to help other kids because the event planners are 10 years old.

"I encourage children taking action, but I've never had such young children come to me!" said principal Susan Lariviere.

The five friends are all in Grade 4 and came up with their plan for the fundraiser last year.

"We always wanted to make up a dance, so we figured out how to make it and showed the principal what we wanted to do," said co-organizer Caliana Fabiano.

The party architects knew what they wanted: music, decorations, snacks and a raffle.

"They had lists, and they had organization and posters and all," said co-organizer Jade Campbell's mother, Carly O'Connor.

"So we ended up talking about budget and how much they wanted to donate, and every time they buy something, it comes out of our profits to donate, so that was a good lesson for them," said Lariviere.

The event planners came up with the cause they wanted to support on their own.

"We saw what the Shriners specialities were so we decided to go with the Shriners," said co-organizer Isabella Morello. "I know it's difficult when you're going through hard times, and sometimes you just need some help."

Fabiano's mother, Francesca Mancini, said the cause is personal for the family.

"My daughter had surgery at the Montreal Children's when she was young, so we always have a small place in our hearts for the children's hospitals, so it's nice to see her giving back," said Mancini.

When the Shriners Hospital heard about the dance, they sent ambassadors. A young patient and the Shriners Mascot visited Margaret Manson to chat about their services.

"They said some kids have to stay in the hospital from six to eight weeks if we do this work, and they have not been at their house," said Campbell.

The Grade 5 and 4 students set out to raise $500 and doubled it.

"Children can do anything," said the students' principal. "They can give back to their community if you give them the opportunity. They can lead, and with a little bit of guidance, they can make this a tremendous success." 

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