Like many 9-year-old girls, Destiny Bertram loves Minecraft and Monster High dolls. But the Mansfield, Ohio, fifth-grader has incorporated something more serious into her play time – raising money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Destiny raised $1,812 for St. Jude this year by selling crafts and seeking pledges in conjunction with the Sixth Annual Race Car Show to benefit St. Jude in Mansfield.
Organized by Destiny’s cousin Terry Myers and his wife, Karolyn, the event is sponsored by Advance Auto and Firestone. The Race Car Show offered a tire-changing contest, an auction and a prize giveaway that included tickets to the Michigan International Speedway.
Terry Myers, 39, grew up around racing, and decided to pair that passion and nostalgia with fundraising for St. Jude after another cousin lost his battle with Hodgkin lymphoma. The cousin was not a St. Jude patient.
The Race Car Show raised more than $4,000 for St. Jude this year and has raised about $13,000 since its founding in 2010. Destiny got involved with the Race Car Show in 2013 after one of her friends was diagnosed with leukemia. This year, Destiny earned the chance to shave Terry's head by surpassing her fundraising goal of $1,000.
For me to have a healthy child and look at all these kids going through all the stuff they have to, and for my child to do something to help another child, I am so proud of her.
"He never thought a 9-year-old would ever beat that goal," said Destiny’s mom, Paula Bertram.
Destiny’s car show contributions are in addition to donations she makes during Mid Ohio’s Country Cares for St. Jude Kids Radiothon on WNCO-FM in Mansfield. Destiny has doubled her radiothon donation every year for four years, contributing $200 this year.
"For me to have a healthy child and look at all these kids going through all the stuff they have to, and for my child to do something to help another child, I am so proud of her," Paula said.