Kenna Dahleen, owner of Idyllwild Pizza Company, knows a thing or two about giving. “I’ve always tried to support local fundraising efforts because it is important to give back to your community,” she said.
For instance most recently, Idyllwild Pizza Company donated pizza and wine for the EarthWitness Foundation’s Comedy and Music Relief Fundraiser held last weekend for fire victims.
Giving back to her community is so important to Dahleen that she wanted a real way to teach her children — son Brighten, 9, and daughter Kekona, 7 — the importance of giving. “My sister, Windean, and I wanted to help them try to raise money and give them a chance to donate and learn how it feels to give back to the community.”
Some time back, the Dahleen sisters framed the children’s artwork and displayed them for sale at the restaurant. “We sold a few pieces and I gave the kids a check and let them take it over [to the Idyllwild HELP Center]. They felt so proud of themselves. They were full of pure joy.”
More children wanted to participate in the program so budding young artists Geneva Dagnall, 8, and Katelyn Sonnier, also 8, submitted artwork. To date, the children have raised more than $225 for the HELP Center.
Kenna said, “The lady at the HELP Center told us that they have a children’s fund; my kids liked that they were donating to other children so that’s where they chose to allocate the money.”
HELP Center President Lou Bacher was on hand to receive a check from the children. “We have a children’s fund so that no kid starts school without a backpack every year, no kid starts school without shoes,” he said. “Anything the kids living at home have, every kid should have. Therefore we have a special fund for children. Sometimes people say, ‘This is a donation to the children’s fund.’ The perfect thing for us is when they say, ‘This is a donation, use it where it is most needed.’ We have at least 10 different bank accounts that help us keep track of the donations collected and where the donations are spent. The money that we collect is given out in vouchers. We don’t give out cash, we give out vouchers.
“If you think about it,” Bacher said as the children surrounded him, “these children are going to be the adults of tomorrow; we want them to come up knowing that they had a chance, that they had an opportunity. We don’t want them to miss out on anything.”
Category: Idyllwild News