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For kids, by kids

At only 6 years old, Eleanor has raised funds and recruited others in her passion to help the children of St. Jude.


"I hope someday no kid has cancer."

Eleanor Cook, age 6, St. Jude supporter

Eleanor and family

Eleanor Cook (center) with Courtney Howard (left), race-car driver Jay Howard, Shaunacee Cook, Gunnar Harbstreit and Zed Harbstreit.

Eleanor Cook of Bloomington, Indiana, loves art, creating pottery, dancing and going camping. She dreams of being an astronaut and one day going to Mars and Jupiter. She is also devoted to supporting the lifesaving mission of St. JudeChildren’s Research Hospital.

Although Eleanor is just 6 years old, she already has helped raise more than $25,000 for St. Jude by donating money she received for her birthday, setting up a lemonade stand and helping to organize a dinner gala that included a performance by a local comedian.

Eleanor’s family and their friends, the Harbstreit family, created Connect 4: For Kids by Kids, an organization to help raise funds for St. Jude. The children of the two families — Eleanor, her sister Shaunacee, 16; Zed Harbstreit, 12, and Gunnar Harbstreit, 9, worked together to organize the Connect 4: For Kids by Kids — A Night to Create a Smile dinner gala in July.

The group is already working on next year’s event.

“I’m really excited about the next St. Jude gala,” Eleanor said. “I want it to be a pirate theme. And I hope someday no kid has cancer.”

Eleanor was drawn to supporting St. Jude by the stories of patients that appear in calendars sent to St. Jude supporters.

Starting when she was only 2 years old, Eleanor would ask her mother to read her the stories because she wanted to hear about the kids being helped at St. Jude.

Now Eleanor wants others to share her commitment to St. Jude and wants others “to donate money to St. Jude to cure kids with cancer and make them happy.”

Eleanor and brother on bike

Eleanor rides her bike through the Connect 4 gala, with Gunnar closely trailing.


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