Update, Apr. 7, 9:30 am —
Lesley Swift, Tommy's aunt and organizer of the event, wrote in an email that the group raised $7,000 on Saturday, including the bake sale and online donations to the Natalie Swift Foundation [Click for link to make donations by PayPal].
"We are all still in shock at how much we have raised," Lesley wrote.
Original article, Apr. 5, 5:45 am —
Take a minute to think of what you were doing at seven years of age.
Chances are, life was all about the three Rs, maybe playing a sport.
Seven-year-old Tommy Swift of Warren recently decided that he would commit some of his time to helping his mother, Natalie, who has Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease.
Savon Shoes on Main Street [formerly Jamiel's Shoe World] is scheduled to host "The Chocolate Surprise," a fundraiser Tommy thought up after his aunt, Lesley Swift, made one of his favorite treats.
Lesley explained the background of the event — set to run from 11 am to 4 pm tomorrow — in a March 18 entry on her Facebook page:
"I had the cutest, saddest conversation with my 7 year old nephew yesterday.
(tom) auntie les can you make those oreo, chocolate balls you made us last year.
(me) of course, I will make them for Easter.
(tom) no I want them for my store.
(me) what store?
(tom) I want to have a store and sell some chocolate things and give all the money I make to my mommy to help her...
So of course we have to find a way to make this work for him."
Within just a couple of weeks, Lesley and several other volunteers nailed down the details and created a Facebook page dedicated to the event.
All proceeds from the bake sale — expected to include Tommy's favorite Oreo chocolate balls and other sweet treats — will go to the Natalie Swift Foundation [click the link for more information and PayPal donations]. There will also be a $1-per-ticket raffle for four $25 gift certificates.
For more information, contact Francis Jamiel at (401) 245-4389.