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Gracie Goes to Market and Gives a Big, Fat Check

The 11-year-old stroke victim is this year's poster girl for the American Heart Association/American Stroke Assocation.

On April 28 I was so proud to be a part of the check presentation from Stater Bros.' Have a Heart, Save a Heart fundraiser to the American Heart/the American Stroke Association.  I was the association's for 2011, and it was an honor.

We went to the East Yucca Valley Stater Bros. store. This store sold the most "hearts" in all of California.  Stater Bros. charity raised $304,566.00 in all.
 
It was a long drive to get there.  I was so excited, and all I was hoping for was that there was a big giant check like you see sometimes on TV. When we finally got there, they had a large area of the store decorated, and just as I had hoped a big, giant check!  It was so funny. My mom and I laughed.
 
One of the executives, George Frahm, talked about the Stater Bros. charity,  and Shawn Casey from the American Heart/the American Stroke Association spoke about all of the research they do to help people like me. 
 
They had my mom and I speak.  My mom thanked everyone for being there and told a little about my story. Then it was my turn to speak.  I had something written down and just wanted  to say a big thank you to all of the people in the East Yucca Valley Stater Bros. store for selling so many hearts. I am also thankful to everyone at the local store for working so hard, too.  

I also told them that my mom shops at Stater Bros. and we have a refrigerator full of their food. Everyone cheered at that, including all of the men in suits! 
 
I was in a lot of pictures and even got to pose with the big check!  Everyone was so nice.  They gave me a framed picture of my poster that was in the stores and a Stater Bros. teddy bear and hat. 
 
I felt so good knowing people were inspired by my story and worked so hard to sell the hearts.  It really shows that they have big hearts themselves.  A lot of $1 hearts can add up to make a big difference. I know what ever the charity is, I will always try to give that dollar.  At the event, James Lee, the president of markets and CEO of Stater Bros. said a quote from Margaret Meade. I had to look it up when I got home. It really made a lot of sense to me.  
  
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world, indeed it is the only thing that ever has."
 
I want to be that citizen. I want to help bring good change to the world.
 
Gracie

Nancy vye May 02, 2011 at 11:48 PM
Another great article, Gracie. You should be a philanthropist-journalist!
Debbie L. Sklar (Editor) May 02, 2011 at 11:54 PM
Nancy: I better watch my back :)
Margaret Hughes May 03, 2011 at 03:12 AM
I will try this again.....great article kiddo. We are proud of you, and love you always. Jeff, Maggie and Ellie
Noreen Burke May 03, 2011 at 06:55 AM
Congrats again, Gracie! Noreen Burke
Agnes McGlone Swanson May 03, 2011 at 11:47 PM
Thank you so much for all you have done for the American Heart and Stroke Association Gracie. You did such a great job with your speech that the executives are still talking to me about it. The CEO of Stater Bros. James Lee was especially impressed by you and your greatness! It was a LONG day but you were just a joy all day. Thank you so much!!! We love you!!
tricia May 04, 2011 at 06:44 PM
You are that citizen Gracie. You are making a huge differnce in alot of peoples lives including mine. Thank you Gracie for all of your Grace! Tricia
Leslie McLeod May 12, 2011 at 03:18 AM
What a great article and so many more to come. So many doors are opening up for you, and all I can see is you doing more great stuff. Ms. Leslie

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