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Meet Your Student Leader

Gavin Cruice, 11, helps fund cancer research

By: Brody Fernandez, Lead Reporter for South Placer
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 Gavin Cruice, 11 and a Lincoln Crossings Elementary School fifth-grader, has nearly reached his goal of donating $500 to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.

Gavin's journey began in 2016 when his aunt, Monica Herrera, died from breast cancer. Gavin called her “Aunt Moonie.”

Losing his beloved aunt made Gavin Cruice want to help others in his aunt’s memory by donating to the hospital.

“Well, at first, I was saving up money to buy a PlayStation 4 because all of my friends had PlayStation 4s. In video games, if a character dies, you can just revive them and keep playing but it doesn’t work like that in real life.” Gavin said. “Eventually, I would keep seeing commercials for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital on TV and I couldn't help but think of Aunt Moonie.”

 Since last summer, Gavin had saved up $150 of his own allowance money that he initially chose to donate to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. He then decided that wasn’t enough and set a goal of $500.

Last August, Gavin wrote a letter to all the Lincoln Crossings Elementary teachers and staff, urging their support in his new mission to donate to cancer research.

In the letter, Gavin stated, “I was wondering if I can help you with chores after school as a way to raise money for St. Jude’s Research Hospital. I just want to stop cancer.”

Gavin’s mother, Jamie Cruice, a fourth-grade teacher there; and kindergarten teacher James Brown, helped Gavin start the recycling program on campus. Now, recyclables are collected daily and all proceeds go to St. Jude’s.

“Mr. Brown and my mom have been a lot of help” Gavin said. “At first, it started out by collecting recyclables on Mr. Brown’s front porch, then he asked if I would like to do this on campus to help get more donations.”

In early September, Gavin issued another letter addressed to the entire student body in an effort to raise more awareness for the cause. For the past eight months, with the help of some of his classmates, Gavin collects recyclables every day after school from designated campus bins.

More than $300 has been raised so far and the donations will continue until the last school day of the year on June 7.

Total amount of donations will hit the $500 mark by June 7, according to Gavin.

“I think we will hit the mark, and if even if we exceed it, I will continue to donate,”  Gavin said.

For more information on Gavin’s mission, email his mother at http://lces.wpusd.k12.ca.us/Staff-Directory. For additional information on St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, go online to stjude.org.