third graders

Cranberry Pines Elementary School female third graders raised more than $425 for the Burlington County Animal Shelter with a hot cocoa stand Jan. 19 in Medford. Pictured with three Medford police officers who came out to support the stand are, front row, from left, Archer DiEgidio, Jayden Rhee, Braydon Whitney, Brooklyn Brown and Danny Caravello. Kneeling are Mia Popp and Avery Brady. In the back row are Natalie Gasek, Stella Whitney, Kyleigh Harris, Liliana Caravello, Ava Ford, Henley Brown and Claire DiEgidio.

MEDFORD >> A group of third-grade girls from Cranberry Pines Elementary School devoted a recent afternoon with a special mission in mind.

For two hours on Sunday, Jan. 19, nine girls put on a hot cocoa stand and raised more than $425 that they planned on donating to the Burlington County Animal Shelter.

For just $1, the stand included hot chocolate, as well as all-you-can eat cookies, brownies and treats.

Donna DiEgidio, whose daughter Claire was involved with the event and had the stand on her driveway, said the girls had been planning the cocoa stand for quite some time.

“They go to the YMCA after-school program ‘School’s Out’ together and mostly planned it there, said DiEgidio. “The moms heard about it from them for weeks, and after my daughter came home with a donation from one of her teachers we decided we really need to get a date on the calendar.”

DiEgidio continued: “They’ve had the idea for over a year - a few of them did a lemonade stand going in to second grade and raised more than $200 for Camp Oasis, camp run by the Virtua Foundation for kids who have a parent with cancer. They thought a winter stand would be fun and hot chocolate would be perfect. Six girls had the idea and planned it and three more friends helped them the day of the stand.”

The girls brought their donation and supplies to the animal shelter on Saturday, Jan. 25 and were treated with a tour of the facility.

“The Medford police heard about the hot cocoa stand and three officers showed up to support the girls,” said DiEgidio. They posted about it on their Facebook page as well.”

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