Emma Burk, 7, raised money for scholarships to the Annual Summer Arts Camp sponsored by the Calcasieu Parish School Board and the Arts and Humanities Council of Southwest Louisiana. She raised a total of $1,410. (Special to the American Press)
Last Modified: Monday, July 16, 2012 3:06 PM
A 7-year-old Westlake girl recently raised more than $1,000 for scholarships to the annual Summer Arts Camp sponsored by the Calcasieu Parish School Board and the Arts and Humanities Council of Southwest Louisiana.
Emma Burk planned and hosted a bake sale in late April to raise the funds. That wasn’t the first philanthropy effort Burk has initiated.
In November, she hosted a garage sale and was able to donate more than $200 to the Hobo Hotel, a no-kill cat shelter. Her work on the garage sale inspired her to expand for her next philanthropy project.
“It was actually on the way back from dropping off the money to them that she came up with the idea of sending kids to art camp,” said Irene Vandever, Burk’s grandmother.
“I think it came from us talking about the tuition for arts camp. She was in the back seat and goes, ‘So not all kids that want to go to art camp can go to art camp?’ That’s when she said she wanted to do another fundraiser, but I said not another garage sale.”
Burk and her family decided to hold a bake sale and tea shop at Central School.
Family members and community businesses donated baked goods and tea sets to the project. Burk worked the sale and helped pass out door prize tickets to people in the tea room.
After the fundraiser, Vandever and a committee went through applications and selected scholarship recipients.
Burk has a lot of family support, but Vandever said Burk is the driving force behind all the fundraisers.
“We try to teach that not everyone is as fortunate as we are. Emma gets that. She has a big heart,” Vandever said.
Burk’s original goal was to be able to provide two scholarships to the camp, but she was able to provide six. She raised $1,410.
“I was happy because I wanted kids to go to art camp,” Burk said.
Due to all of her charitable efforts, Burk was named a local store winner in the Kohl’s Kids Care scholarship program, and the Calcasieu Parish School Board recognized Burk at Tuesday’s meeting.
“I’d like the board to recognize her outstanding accomplishments and her selflessness,” Superintendent Wayne Savoy said.
“I’d just like to say what an inspiration it is to see young people who care more for other things and people than they do themselves,” said R.L. Webb, School Board president.
“Grown-ups can learn from what this young lady did,” said Joe Andrepont, District 12 board member.
Burk, who will be a third-grader at Westwood Elementary this year, said she was nervous about being recognized by the board and standing up during the meeting.
“I was happy, but a little bit crying,” she said. “My daddy said he was proud of me.”
Burk is not stopping with the arts camp scholarships. She will host a garage sale Aug. 4 to raise money for school supplies for students in Calcasieu.
Vandever said they would donate the money to the Salvation Army to distribute. Burk said she also hopes to do another fundraiser for arts camp scholarships next year.
Posted By: Mary On: 8/2/2012
Title: Kids can do so much!
What an inspiring story for youngsters and oldsters alike. If we all pitched in, thing surely would get done!