ENOCH — A fourth-grader in Enoch is spearheading a fundraising drive to help families struggling with cancer and other medical challenges.
Briley Orton, 10, said she got the idea several months ago when one of her friends at Three Peaks Elementary was diagnosed with a serious heart ailment.
Briley wrote a heartfelt, handwritten note that mom Brittney Orton recently shared with a few friends.
Within a few days, the first $50 check had already arrived in the mail.
Briley, who is the oldest of Brittney and Kody Orton’s four children, said she wanted to do something nice to help pay forward the support her family received at the time her younger sister Kloe, 8, was born.
“When my little sister was a baby, we figured out she had Down syndrome, and a lot of people helped us with that,” Briley told Cedar City News. “And I just wanted to give that to someone else.”
Briley’s grandmother Kris Orton, who was also present for the interview, said her granddaughter has always been a caring child.
“She’s compassionate about people that have disabilities,” she said, adding that Briley is always willing to step in and help.
Briley even came up with a name for her fundraising drive.
“I call it Briley’s Rattlers because my school’s mascot is a rattlesnake,” she said.
Brittney Orton said she did not expect her daughter to come up with such a big idea, but said when she took it to the school administration and parent teacher association leaders, they were very receptive and supportive.
“This last year was crazy for everyone, but we did not even think about the people who are dealing with so much more than most of us could ever imagine,” she added.
Briley and her parents say they hope to raise enough donations so that the money can be split among two or three deserving recipients.
“When we very first started, what we wanted to do was have a raffle or auction and have people either donate money or donate stuff,” Brittney Orton said. “But COVID honestly just puts a damper on lots of plans. Maybe next year.”
Donations, which are tax deductible, are being handled through the school’s PTA. To make a contribution, go to the Three Peaks PTA’s website and click on the “Fundraiser Brileys Rattlers.” Donations can then be specified in any whole dollar amount and paid via credit or debit card. Checks may also be mailed to the school in care of Briley’s Rattlers, Three Peaks Elementary PTA, 1685 W. Midvalley Road, Enoch, UT 84721.
Briley has set her sights high, saying she’s hoping to raise at least $10,000 total.
Brittney Orton said a tentative deadline for the fundraiser has been set for April 30, which will give organizers time to get the money out to the families before the end of the school year.
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