Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — GASPORT — The Maier Family of Gasport is taking its first trip to Washington, D.C. this May, and it has their youngest daughter to thank.
Haley Maier, 11, has been named one of New York State’s top two youth volunteers of the year by The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards. The program operates nationwide in an effort to honor youths who go above and beyond when they volunteer.
As the baby of the family, Haley never met her grandmother. “I always heard stories from my family about Grandma, and they were always inspiring stories,” she said. At the end of her life, Haley’s grandmother battled Alzheimer’s Disease. Getting to know her grandmother through the family stories led to Haley searching for a way to honor her.
Haley’s volunteer project involved the creation of crocheted necklaces using ladder yarn, an idea that actually came from her mom, Sue.
“I was trying to figure out what to do and Mom came home one day and suggested it,” Haley said.
Mrs. Maier taught her how to crochet the necklaces, and since then Haley has made and sold many. In a very short period of time she sold $400 worth. But the Barker sixth-grader needed to find a cause worthy enough for a donation.
“I was going to donate the money to cancer research, but then I thought of my grandma and decided to give to the Alzheimer’s Association,” Haley explained.
She added that the goal is to mimic what other honored volunteers have done in the past.
“I haven’t been doing this too long and I know I want to do something,” Haley said. “Online, I’ve seen that some winners of this award have raised thousands of dollars, so I hope I do enough to raise a lot more than I have already.”