Kiera Golon isn’t the typical 12-year-old as most middle schoolers haven’t organized two successful community fundraisers on their own and raised nearly $4,000 for a support organization.
That’s exactly what Golon did this past August after running her second consecutive fundraiser to help fund support services for those dealing with autism.
“A lot of people are dealing with austism and there isn’t a lot of research,” said the Sayville resident.
This year’s end of summer event, which was called the Hope for Autism 2nd Annual Yoga Day, took place during Summerfest in the backyard of Joseph Hanshe.
But to back up, it all began in mid 2011, when Golon was initially inspired to do something good after winning the Erin Halliday-Duffy scholarship when she graduated from Lincoln Avenue Elementary.
The scholarship prize must be used to help others and Golon decided to do a yoga class fundraiser with the $100 award and asked the help of Spectrum Kids yoga instructor Laura Gallagher.
Golon was inspired to do the yoga event after taking one of Gallagher’s courses the prior year, as Patch reported.
The funds from that first fundraiser and this year’s event benefited the Land and Sea Sports Club, a non-profit that helps developmentally disabled and autistic individuals.
But this year the yoga day wasn’t about setting up courses and doing public event marketing. Golon and her friends also solicited raffle donations from Sayville business and sold t-shirts.
This year’s effort raised $1,600.
And while just two months have passed Golon is already thinking about what she wants to do as a fundraiser next year.
“We might do something different, I’m not sure yet,” said Golon, but there’s no question she’s intent on keeping her charity work going strong.
Her advice to peers interested in undertaking similar activities is very simple.
“If you want to do it, you just have to put your mind to it and make it happen,” said the seventh grader.