Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Boy's Birthday Gift Inspires Organization

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Boy's Birthday Gift Inspires Organization

Article excerpt

Byline: Cindy Holifield

For his recent 7th birthday, Sawyer Sarcot gave up presents. Instead, he asked that his friends and family donate to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Sawyer set up a fundraising web page that brought in $555 for the North Florida chapter. Sawyer, a first-grader at The Bolles Lower School in Ponte Vedra Beach, has type 1 diabetes.

The first wish on Sawyer's letter to Santa every year is for Santa to cure his diabetes, said Sawyer's mother, Helena Sarkio, in a news release from The Bolles School. While Santa won't be able to grant that wish, Sarkio said, they have discussed the fact that, hopefully, one day his endocrinologist and research foundation scientists will do so.

"He has been thinking of different ways to earn money 'for the doctors that will cure my diabetes,' so when I suggested that perhaps his friends could help if he was willing to forgo birthday presents, he was onboard right away," Sarkio said in the release.

Pam Williams, the North Florida chapter's outreach coordinator, said Sawyer's gift was heart-warming and that he was an inspiration to the organization.

Here's more good news:

- The new Academy Sports and Outdoors Store at 9041 Southside Blvd. treated youths from the Lee Boys & Girls Club and Southside Middle School's TEAM UP program to a private shopping spree. Each child received a $100 gift card to spend during the one-hour event, which celebrated the opening of the Academy's second Jacksonville store. Many purchased sports equipment, athletic footwear and clothing, with some even buying items for their siblings, a news release said. Boys & Girls Club members participating were selected on the basis of club attendance and activities, service and good behavior.

- Sawyer Gas employees recently stuffed 1,200 gift bags for participants of Sunday's Donna Bike, an event of the 26.2 with Donna Foundation. Employees also presented a $1,000 check to foundation representatives to support breast cancer research at Mayo Clinic and area individuals battling breast cancer. Former First Coast News anchor Donna Deegan created the foundation. …

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