SPANISH FORK — One kindergarten student from Brockbank Elementary raised almost $500 to help with breast cancer research with the help of friends, family, total strangers and some homemade cookies.
None of that would have been possible without a big goal and an even bigger heart.
Near the end of January, a member of the school's "Kid's Power Committee" came to Ace Sampson's class to present a charity the school would raise funds for that year, which was the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. That student shared a story that really touched Ace.
"There was a sixth grade student who told the class about a friend of hers who lost her mom to breast cancer," Ace's mom, Jessica Sampson, said. "That must have really affected him because when I picked him up from school that day, the first thing he said was 'Mom we need to head to the bank and get $100 dollars from my bank account because I’m gonna donate it to breast cancer!'"
While Sampson was thrilled that her son wanted to do so much to help the cause, she thought $100 was a lot for him to donate.
"At first I was like, 'OK, well how about we bring like $30 dollars?' And he was like, 'No, Mom. I wanna donate a lot of money, I wanna help cure breast cancer!'" Sampson recalled. "So later his dad and I talked to him, and he was dead set on $100."
Knowing there was nothing they could do to change their son's mind, but also wanting to encourage his desire to do good, the Sampsons decided Ace could earn $100 through his own fundraiser. Unsure of how to earn the money, Ace asked an aunt who suggested they make cookies. Ace loved the idea, so on Jan. 27, the day the school's fundraiser began, Operation Cookie Sale was on.
Ace's aunt and mom made five dozen cookies, and he sold about a dozen after school before it got too dark for him to be out. With four dozen cookies left to sell, the Sampsons took to Instagram.
"Ace put together a cute little sales pitch, and I posted it on my Instagram page," Sampson said. "We were just trying to sell the last four dozen cookies, and then my phone started going off like crazy with people ordering cookies. Within an hour we had so many orders that we had to stop for the night."
The trio continued to make cookies the next day to fulfill more orders coming from as far as Nevada and Illinois. According to Sampson, in just 24 hours they frosted and delivered 25 dozen cookies.
"The coolest part was a lady bought cookies for us to deliver to her aunt who is going through breast cancer herself, and we got to make a surprise delivery to her. People even donated without wanting cookies, and in 24 hours he had made $450 dollars," Sampson said.
The following Monday, Ace brought the money to his school; teachers, staff and students were blown away with the kindergartner's success.
"His teacher was shocked when we told her what he had done, and the school has been very cute with Ace letting him know how special it was he did this," Sampson said.
The school's fundraiser ended on Valentine's Day, and school officials said students raised a total of $1,763.65. A school spokesperson said the fundraiser was a success in large part due to Ace's donation.
While the amount of support and money that Ace was able to earn may have been shocking, according to Sampson, she was not surprised her son decided to do this.
"Ace has a big personality and people are drawn to him when they meet him," Sampson said. "I probably wouldn’t have been so motivated to help him make his goal of $100 if he wasn’t so persistent with wanting to help fight breast cancer. I could tell he was so moved by what the student had shared. It was never about the competition the school was doing. He really wanted to help fight breast cancer and my husband and I just couldn’t not help him accomplish this.
"On his way to the school to give his money to the PTA he told his sister, 'Rosie! I’m helping to cure breast cancer!' Isn’t that amazing?"