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Charitable Kids Group Organizes Neighborhood Walk

G7 will host a walk on Valewood Drive to benefit Alternative House

When Ingrid Braun needs new cleats, she just has to ask her parents.

When children at the Alternative House need new anything, they have to hope a generous donor has helped provide it.

So 14-year-old Ingrid, her sister Krista, and five of their friends — Zac and Max Branciforte, Logan Banfield, and Alec and Cole Souders — formed the charitable group G7 to give back to local residents who are less fortunate.

"We wanted to create a group that does charitable projects, so we named it G7 because we're all giving, which is the 'g', and seven of us are doing it exponentially," Zac Branciforte, 13 said.

Their first project is the 1.5-mile Winter Wonderland Walk on Saturday that begins and ends at the Valewood Drive cul-de-sac, where donations will be collected for Alternative House and doughnuts and hot chocolate will be provided to warm up participants at the end of the walk.

Alternative House is a nonprofit organization that provides shelter to children who are abused, homeless or both.

"[The people at Alternative House] don't really get much for Christmas or do much in general so we wanted to give to them. So we thought we'd raise toy donations so they'd have a happier Christmas," Alec Souders, 13, said.

Donations will be transported from the walk to Alternative House with boxes the group obtained for free from UPS.

The group members' ages span nine years, with the oldest, Krista, at 17, and the youngest, Cole, at 8. They don't even attend the same schools, with Krista and Ingrid at Madeira School, Zac and Alec at Rachel Carson Middle, Logan at St. Mark Catholic School, Max at Hunters Woods Elementary and Cole at Waples Mill Elementary.

Instead of school or age, they've bonded through their parents' longtime friendship as residents in the Valewood Drive area.

"We're basically a big family," Ingrid said.

Turnout for Saturday is expected to be around 80 people. The walk begins at 9 a.m., and each child who participates will receive a bell to wear around his or her neck.

Though she can't make the walk, Cole Souders' teacher has donated a toy, and the group encourages others to do the same if they have a scheduling conflict. Donations, to be dropped off at 3442 Valewood Drive or 3536 Valeview Drive, will be accepted through Dec. 23.

As for G7's next project, the kids are undecided, but they hope they can do something with old sports equipment.

"We're all pretty athletic and we know how quickly we go through our equipment, so I think that would be a good one," Zac said.

CarLene December 17, 2011 at 01:01 PM
What an example to us all! Hats off to their parents as well for instilling such a generous spirit.
Makowski Family December 17, 2011 at 01:24 PM
Way to go! We are very proud of you.
Maria Koklanaris Bonaquist December 22, 2011 at 11:28 PM
This is great! Way to go!

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