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Four young boys with hearts of gold, and a table full of sweets, raised money for cancer research


On Wednesday, January 24, the elementary wing of St. Joseph’s School had a little more activity than normal.  Four friends, three of whom play on a hockey team together, were set up for a fantastic reason.  Harper Peach (9), Kallum Larsen (10), Austin Cote (9) and Anthony Eltawil (9) were on a mission to raise money, for the Canadian Cancer Society, by holding a bake sale together at lunchtime.

“We’re given this money to people that can pass away or that could die, so we’re given money to the people, so it can help them” said Anthony.  “They spend this money on research for medicine” said Kallum, “and a cure” added Austin.  When asked how they feel about raising this money for helping others, the boys replied together that it was awesome and that they all felt very good.

Kallum came up with the idea, of raising money for cancer research, after suffering a loss close to his heart.  His mother’s best friend sadly lost her father and since the families are very close, Kallum called him his grandpa.  “One of my grandpas died from cancer so that’s why we are doing this today” he said.

Kallum’s aunt made the cheesecakes, which were a big hit, and as a group everyone brought in hot chocolate and candy canes.  They even had chocolate dipped Twizzlers!  Once they were all set up and the school bell sounded, an influx of children swarmed around the table.  Classes were given notice the day before, so that students could be prepared with a little spending money.

Leeann Larsen, Kallum’s mom, said that when her son first came up with the idea back in December, he wanted to do it the very next day.  “It was the Wednesday before Christmas holidays, when he originally wanted to have it and that wasn’t going to happen” she said with a laugh.  “So, we postponed it for a few weeks, so we could organize it better.  It makes me so proud.”  Rough estimates put the number of buyers at over 60.  “I don’t think I ever looked up from the machine” recalled Leeann, who made hot chocolate during the sale.

Niki Underwood, Committee Chair with Relay for Life Whitecourt, happens to be Kallum’s aunt, and since he had taken part in the relay in previous years, he knew exactly who he wanted to reach out to.  “He called me one day and said, I need a favour” explained Niki.  “I said, Oh, what’s this favour?  And he said, I want you to come and collect money for cancer research.  I said, I can definitely do that favour!  They did all the work, and they had their date picked, and just asked me to participate, which was great!”

This year’s relay will take place on August 25 at Rotary Park.  The money raised by the bake sale will be held to support their relay team.  In total, the boys completely sold out and raised $168.95!  “I think my heart might burst!!  I’m so very proud of them” said Leeann.

As for the boys, they would like to thank everyone who took part.  “Thank you for buying from us” said Austin.  “We really, really appreciate it” said Kallum.  “Thank you, thank you” said Harper with a big smile.  “Everyone was awesome, thank you” said Anthony.  On behalf of the community, we would like to thank you four, and the parents who helped you, for doing something so amazing.  We are all proud of you!

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