Printer Friendly

Teen helps cancer patients.

Six years ago, when Anthony Leanna of Suamico, Wisconsin, was eight years old, his grandmother, Darlene Chartier, was hospitalized with cancer. On many occasions while visiting his grandmother at the hospital where she was being treated, Anthony met other cancer patients, including children. "He saw all the children that had lost their hair to cancer treatment and couldn't get them out of his mind," Mrs. Chartier wrote in a letter to the Good Morning America program. "He desperately wanted to do something for all of them."

Anthony's inspiration was to raise money to purchase and distribute hats to the patients free of charge. "I wanted to do something. I wanted to have hats that they could pick out and wear," Anthony told the Green Bay Press-Gazette.

He started by contacting potential donors by e-mail and creating flyers to make his community aware of his project. He convinced local business owners to allow him to place collection boxes in their stores. When he had accumulated enough money to get started, he began contacting companies that sold and manufactured hats, to get their input. Wisconsin-based S.C. Johnson Company supplied custom-designed plastic bags to keep the hats clean and dry during delivery.

Anthony called his project Heavenly Hats. Once word got around his part of Wisconsin, donations started coming in. He bagged and distributed the hats himself, and still does. A major supporter has been the National Football League, which has supplied Anthony with large quantities of Green Bay Packer hats--understandably a popular item in northeastern Wisconsin!

In 2003, Anthony was inducted into the Hall of Fame for Caring Americans by the Caring Institute, which gives the honor annually to the most caring individuals in the nation. That year, he also received the presidential Student Service Award.

In 2004, CNN interviewed Anthony for its program, "America's Bright Future." The exposure resulted in an outpouring of support for Heavenly Hats from viewers across the nation. Afterward, Anthony told his local news station, WBAY in Green Bay: "I think it will always be a big thing getting the word out because it seems like every time I get the word out I get more and more donations to come in."

In an interview with ABC News, Anthony's mother, Deann Leanna, said her son works on the project year-round: "During the school year he puts in about 15 hours a week. During summer, close to 30 hours." Anthony's father, Glen Leanna, who began a fight against cancer after his son started the program, said: "What has really been shown is that anyone out there can get up and make a difference and do something."

The ABC report noted that Heavenly Hats has delivered more than 60,000 hats to hospitals over the last four years, receiving help from many volunteers, in addition to Anthony's friends and family.

Anthony has collected awards almost as regularly as he has collected and distributed hats. Just this past June, he was named the winner of the Good Morning America Real Life Hero Contest.

This story is always continuing. A recent story about Anthony from WBAY News in Green Bay reported about a do nation of hundreds of brand-new caps to Heavenly Hats from ASPIRO, a Green Bay-area non-profit charity. And Anthony, now 14, is sounding more and more like the mature and experienced charitable foundation leader he has become. He commented about this latest donation: "I think it shows the strength of the Green Bay community and its eagerness to help those who need us."
COPYRIGHT 2005 American Opinion Publishing, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2005, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

 
Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:THE GOODNESS OF AMERICA; Heavenly Hats
Author:Mass, Warren
Publication:The New American
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 8, 2005
Words:586
Previous Article:Rulings not etched in stone: the recent Supreme Court decisions on the legality of placing the Ten Commandments in public places--one allowing their...
Next Article:Nonagenarian stops thief.
Topics:


Related Articles
GIFTS OF LOVE HATS FROM THE HEARTS BRINGING SMILES TO AREA CANCER PATIENTS.
HAT SQUAD HELPS LIFT SPIRITS AT CHILDRENS HOSPITAL.
PATIENTS GET BEAUTY TIPS; CANCER SOCIETY OFFERS WOMEN BEAUTY BOOST.
CANCER SURVIVORS CELEBRAT THE HOPE OF LIFE; : HOSPITAL HOSTS PARTY ON NATIONAL DAY.
SELLING HOPE OFF THE RACK; NEW UCLA SPECIALTY SHOP CATERS TO CANCER PATIENTS.
A PLACE FOR RENEWAL CENTER A PEACEFUL RETREAT FOR PATIENTS.
For Goodness' Sake.
For Goodness' Sake.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2018 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters