Eighth grader Riley Harris is donating $550 to the Bethlehem Community Center in Alton Park at 5 p.m on Tuesday.
Riley started sacrificing birthday presents for donations to charities when she was eight years old. This year Riley asked for cash donations to benefit the Beth because they have literacy programs.
Riley raised $550 for the Beth on Nov. 2 at her masquerade ball theme party. “She kind of had it in her head that she would at least like to hit $500 but she said she didn’t want to say anything because if we didn’t get there, she’d feel silly” said Laura Harris, Riley’s mother.
Riley said, “It feels really good to be able to give back and know that you’re making a difference and it can still be a lot of fun, even if it is for a charity.”
Riley and her mother are impressed with the amount guests donated. “You never know when you’re doing something like that. We always hope that people would say, ‘What would I spend on a present, I’ll donate that too’ but you don’t know. They’re throwing something in a box and nobody’s seeing what it is. They could put $2 in and that’s all you get,” Ms. Harris said.
Guests at Riley’s party were able to enjoy food, music, and dancing. “The best part was probably at the end when everybody got comfortable and started dancing,” Riley says. Riley and her mother will be presenting the donation to the Bethlehem Community Center on Tuesday.