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Boardman first-grader donates Christmas bonus

Pictured back row, left to right are: stanTim Saxton, Boardman Local Schools superintendent; XXX, Stadium Elementary principal; Kent Wright; Candice Wright; Susan Farkas; Brianna Figley. First row: Emily Wright.

BOARDMAN — As Emily Wright’s mom helped get her ready Wednesday morning before school, Emily hoped it wasn’t for another picture day.

“She knew as soon as I was curling her hair something was going on,” Candice Wright said, adding that she convinced the youngster to wear a special outfit.

“I said, ‘Something amazing is going to happen today. You should probably look nice,'” Wright said, laughing.

Emily, 6, was presented with $100 from Boak & Sons Inc., which she in turn donated to Akron Children’s Hospital minutes after accepting the money.

She decided to choose Akron Children’s because “(the patients) don’t get much” for the holidays, due to their parents staying in the hospital with them rather than shopping for the holidays.

“I feel happy,” Emily said about the donation.

Celebrating the act of kindness with Emily were her class, teacher Missy Struharik, parents Candice and Kent, and Superintendent Tim Saxton.

Wright said that Emily has been influenced by big brother Milo, a fourth grader at Boardman Center Intermediate School, for donating.

Milo and his friends make lemonade stands in the summer, with proceeds going to animal shelters or Akron Children’s.

“We have always tried to instill in our kids the value of giving,” Wright said.

Emily was one of 300 first graders in the district that colored holiday pages for Boak & Sons.

Brianna Figley, marketing director for the company, said she chose 30-some pages at random and put them in envelopes that contained employees’ Christmas bonuses.

The rest are on display around the company’s building in Austintown.

Boak employee Joe Febo received Emily’s colored page and immediately decided to donate some of his bonus to her.

“It kind of brought that Christmas spirit out,” Figley said, adding that Febo told her he wanted to give “the little girl” money to do whatever she pleased.

Wright said that when the school reached out and told her of Febo’s Christmas wish, she immediately thought of Emily’s own Christmas list, which included making a donation to Akron Children’s Hospital.

Emily has mentioned to her mother that she would like to organize a little fundraising drive for her classmates soon, so they can do something nice for a fellow classmate who will need surgery at Akron Children’s soon.

“When I heard this, I immediately thought, ‘Oh my gosh. You know what? That’s what we’re going to do, donate,'” Wright said.

Figley said that Febo also felt nostalgic, as the picture is of Mickey Mouse, a character he enjoyed growing up, which made him decide to give his bonus to the student.

Febo was unable to attend the presentation Wednesday due to work.

Boak & Sons sponsored this year’s coloring event, giving prizes to one first grader at each elementary school.

Figley said the company tries to work within the community, and this year donated $500 to the district’s elementary art teacher, Susan Farkas, to go toward supplies she may need.

afox@tribtoday.com

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