When Gabby Scianna of Boardman was preparing for her 13th birthday party, she wanted to do something special. She decided to use her entry into her teenage years to help others.
Having reached 13, Gabby realized just how fortunate she was to be blessed with a loving family and good health. She realized there are other children who are not as fortunate and she wanted to do something about it. Instead of the usual gifts, she decided to have her families and friends help her with donations. She recently visited the Youngstown Shrine Club and presented a check for $1,000 that will go to help children who are being served at the Erie Shrine Hospital in Erie, Pa.
"The money will be used to help with transportation for children to travel to the hospital and appointments," said Youngstown Shrine member Jay Jones.
Photo special to the Town Crier
Thirteen-year-old Gabby Scianna of Boardman chose to hold a special birthday party where gifts would go to a worthy cause. Recently she, accompanied by her mother Danielle Scianna, presented a check for $1,000 to the Youngstown Shrine Club to help the children at the Erie Shrine Hospital. She is pictured with her mother presenting the check to Youngstown Shrine Club President Hugh Davenport and Erie Shrine Hospital Board of Director Steve Withers.
Jones said the Shriners have 22 children's hospitals across North America. Children are served there and not charged a cent. The Shriner's program Wheels of Mercy will be the recipient of Gabby's donation.
"We never charged before and we will never charge a child in need," Jones said.
While donations from young teens like Gabby is unusual, he said it is important and that every penny helps. To operate the hospitals takes $1.8 million per day. While $1,000 seems minimal considering the huge daily operations, it is none the less very appreciated and will help many children.
In a letter Gabby included with the check, she wrote, "Hello, I am Gabby Scianna. I go to St. Charles School in Boardman. I recently turned 13 in the middle January. Along with my birthday celebration, I had a giant party. I would like to present this donation to the Shriners' Children's Hospital. I realize I am blessed and also grateful to be healthy. I wish it could have been a lot more but I hope this donation makes a difference."
According to Jones, it will make a difference and he said it is people like Gabby who are making a difference.
"It doesn't happen very often, but we are grateful when it does," Jones said.