11-year-old nears $6,500 goal
By Karen Caffarini Post-Tribune correspondent July 22, 2012 2:48PM
Hailey Perryman, 11, makes her annual walk with friends pulling a red wagon to collect donations for Riley Children's Hospital in her Merrillville, Ind. neighborhood Monday July 9, 2012. | Stephanie Dowell~Sun-Times Media
How to help
Persons who still want to donate as part of Hailey’s Kool-Aid for Riley campaign can send checks payable to Riley Children’s Foundation in care of Hailey Perryman, 7914 Wilson St., Merrillville, IN 46410.
Updated: August 24, 2012 6:05AM
MERRILLVILLE — With one week remaining in her annual fundraiser for Riley Hospital for Children, Hailey Perryman is well on her way toward meeting her $6,500 goal for this year and raising $20,000 over five years.
Hailey’s mom, Jennifer Perryman, said Friday afternoon her 11-year-old daughter has brought in $5,900 so far this year with more money coming in from a silent auction and donation buckets set up at two locations.
Plus, there is one more week for donations to come through the mail.
Perryman, of Merrillville, said this year’s total received a big boost with a $1,000 check written out by a local business, Speedy Check Cashers at 71 W. Lincoln Highway. One person wrote a personal check for $200, and another for $125, she added.
Many people relay personal stories along with their donations, Perryman said.
“One person said her grandson just had surgery at Riley’s. One donation was in memory of someone who died July 6. That was really sad,” Perryman said.
She said Hailey keeps all the cards and letters she receives with the donations.
Hailey started her annual Kool-Aid for Riley campaign when she was 6 after learning that the Indianapolis hospital treats all sick children regardless of their families’ ability to pay. The fundraiser has brought in more money each year as people stop by her five-day-long Kool-Aid stand, drop change in her wagon during the “Change for a Change” wagon walk through her Independence Hill neighborhood, purchase a silent auction item or mail in a donation.
Her efforts have not gone unnoticed by the hospital.
“We were so happy to learn of Hailey’s success this year, but we weren’t really surprised because Hailey’s determination is incredibly impressing. Having started this venture when she was in kindergarten, she has increased the number of donors and inspired numerous other classmates and children around the state to launch their own fund-raising efforts,” said Maureen Manier, spokeswoman for Riley Children’s Foundation.
Perryman said the family will be bringing the money to Riley’s in person, as it has done in the past, one weekend in August. While there, they’ll take a tour of the new Simon wing.
The family also will appear at the Merrillville Town Council meeting Tuesday night.
Hailey doesn’t just help Riley every July, however. Perryman said Hailey recently helped her friend, Katie Shivley, a Valparaiso resident and Riley patient, with Shivley’s dog wash fundraiser for the hospital.