Ella Turner, 8, loved being a big sister to Colby, even when she was sick.
Colby suffered from geleophysic dysplasia, a strange sounding name even for adults. Neil Turner, Ella’s dad, told her that Colby’s heart was very sick. She died at age 2.
One day after school, when Ella was a kindergartner, school let out and she came home with a huge smile beneath her head of red hair and ran toward her dad.
“Daddy, we are going to raise money for people with bad hearts and I want to raise $1,000 at least. Probably more!” she exclaimed. “They are going to send home information on Thursday and we watched a video and it helps people with bad hearts.”
In her first American Heart Association campaign as a kindergartner, Ella set a goal of $1,000. She raised more than $5,500. Last year, she raised more than $11,000.
Ella’s proud father said out of the millions of kids who participate in Jump Rope for Heart, she ranked No. 2 in the entire nation. In addition to the money raised, she also became a “heart ambassador” and has been involved with several additional activities including numerous speaking engagements, appearing in a promotional video, appearing in the annual report and helping kickoff other American Heart Association events.
This year, the Centennial Elementary student has set her biggest goal. She is seeking support from 1,000 donors, four times her goal from the previous year. The fundraising dynamo has even made her own business card. On one side it says: “Ella Turner 2nd Grader Saves Hearts.”
On the other side, Ella explains the need beside an image of herself holding a photograph of little Colby. She read the words, “I raise money to help kids with sick hearts in memory of my little sister, Colby. Please see more of my story and help me help other kids.” The card also advertises www.EllaJumps.com, which has more information about Ella’s fundraising effort.
Part of her challenge is her family moved to Edmond about a month ago.
“We’ve only lived in Edmond for about four weeks, so she doesn’t have an established network of local support here,” Neil Turner said. “But the short time we have been here, everyone has been so welcoming and helpful. We can already tell this is going to be a great community to call home.”
Ella said she likes to think of Colby, how happy her little sister was.
“Like my mom said I made her laugh the most and the hardest,” Ella said. “She was really cute.”
So far, Ella has about 90 donors and more than $4,500 in online support. Ella said sometimes people donate in the memory of a loved one who had heart disease. Helping others gives her a sense of satisfaction.
“It makes me feel like I’m doing good and I’m going to help a lot of kids,” she said.
For more information about the American Heart Association, visit www.heart.org. At www.EllaJumps.com, you can read about Ella’s past campaigns, more about her current one and find links to her donation and Facebook pages.
If you are in Edmond, be on the lookout for a smiling 8-year-old redhead handing out her business card and on a mission to save hearts.
firstname.lastname@example.org | 341-2121, ext. 108
Ella Turner, 8, loved being a big sister to Colby, even when she was sick.
School back in session Wednesday
Parents are heaving a sign of relief while some students aren’t going to be quite as happy.
“All classes and activities will resume Wednesday in Edmond Public Schools,” said Susan Parks-Schlepp, director of public information and community involvement. “Slick spots remain and buses may be running a bit late but secondary roads are in much better shape after significant thawing.”
As reported earlier, students will not be making up the four snow days taken off from school this past week.
Federal energy efficiency tax credits ending in 2013
If you are planning to do some home improvements to make your home more energy efficient, now is the time to take action. Multiple federal energy efficiency tax credits are set to expire permanently at the end of the year.
Oklahomans have until Dec. 31 to take advantage of a cumulative maximum of $500 in credits for energy-related improvements completed in 2011, 2012 and 2013. The credits are a cumulative maximum of $1,500 for improvements done in 2009 and 2010.
The tax credits are for energy improvements done to existing homes owned by you, and used as your principal residence, said Scott Frazier, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension energy management engineer. New construction and rentals are not eligible for these federal tax credits.
UCO to graduate more than 1,000 students Friday, Saturday
The University of Central Oklahoma will celebrate the achievements of about 1,179 graduates during the fall 2013 commencement ceremonies Dec. 13-14 in Central’s Hamilton Field House.
Beginning at 1 p.m. Dec. 13, UCO President Don Betz will confer degrees on students who have applied to receive bachelor’s degrees from the College of Education and Professional Studies. Later at 5 p.m., the ceremony for about 200 master’s degree candidates will begin.
At 10 a.m. Dec. 14, commencement ceremonies for students who have applied to receive bachelor’s degrees from the College of Business and College of Fine Arts and Design will begin. At 2 p.m., the College of Mathematics and Science and the College of Liberal Arts will begin the commencement ceremonies for students who have applied to receive bachelor’s degrees.
UCO’s Central Pantry celebrates a year of service
Looking back over the last year, University of Central Oklahoma Volunteer and Service Learning Center Coordinator Eric Hemphill has one word to describe Central Pantry’s growth: “extraordinary.”
In its first month of operation, the pantry assisted just 24 people. In October the number had grown to 740.
The pantry, opened in November 2012, provides non-perishable food and hygiene items to any student, faculty or staff member who is in need. Central students, faculty and staff volunteers manage the pantry’s daily operations.
Deer Creek looks at remediation percentages of college-bound students
During Monday’s school board meeting, members of the Deer Creek Board of Education will be looking at the district’s rate of students requiring remediation upon entering college. The numbers are based on a 2011 report.
The 2011 Remediation Rates of Oklahoma High School Graduates in Oklahoma Public Higher Education were presented showing the comparison of Deer Creek High School graduates with surrounding school districts as well as districts in like size.
Officials say repeal of Common Core ‘unlikely’
Despite continued opposition to new public-school standards, Oklahoma education officials say they are more confident than they were earlier this year that the standards will be fully implemented.
Theatre receives OKC Community Foundation Grant
The Oklahoma Children’s Theatre is proud to announce that it has been awarded a grant in the sum of $10,000 from the Oklahoma City Community Foundation for its Page to Stage program, a traveling, workshop series for underserved schools.
New 2014 GED program website and registration launches
GED Testing Service announced that registration and new cutting-edge resources to help prepare for the 2014 GED test are now available with the launch of the organization’s new MyGED website. MyGED — which can be found online at GED.com — is a free site that will help adults register for, take and be better prepared for the GED test. Beyond the basics of testing, it will help students identify career pathways, and more easily navigate to jobs and into college training programs required for most of today’s job openings.
Edmond school board OKs replacement, renovation at three local school sites
Edmond Board of Education members passed a number of items concerning funds for replacement or renovation at local schools Monday.
UCO names fall 2013 class marshals
The University of Central Oklahoma has named five students as class marshals of their respective colleges, recognizing them for their academic excellence during Central’s fall 2013 commencement ceremonies Dec. 13 and Dec. 14 at the university’s Hamilton Field House. UCO will have a live streaming video of the ceremonies at its website, www.uco.edu.
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- School back in session Wednesday