Local Optimists raise $2K to fight childhood cancer

As a retired special education teacher, Farmington resident Carol Ahmed knows the pain of childhood cancer all too well.

F2H Optimists Cancer Fundraiser
Pictured left and right, Optimists Walk for Childhood Cancer co-chairs Jim Walker and Carol Ahmed congratulate Joanne Wiegand, winner of a Detroit Tigers blanket made by club member Roxanne Fitzpatrick and raffled off to raise funds. Fitzpatrick also made one as a surprise gift for Ahmed, who is a big Tigers fan. 

That’s what led the Farmington/Farmington Hills Breakfast Optimist Club member to volunteer as co-chair of the club’s Optimists Walk for Childhood Cancer drive. Funds support two programs to comfort sick kids: “Bravery Beads,” given for every treatment, poke, or procedure; and comforting Beanie Babies swaddled in “magic hugs” squares.

Funds raised through the Ann Arbor walk will pay for Magic Hugs Beanie Babies like this one.

“I have sat at the bedside of several of my students who were suffering,” Ahmed said. “It is heartbreaking and gut-wrenching. This is something very dear to my heart.”

When she and co-chair Jim Walker started raising funds for the first-time project, Ahmed said a goal of $200 seemed reasonable. “Not in my wildest dreams did I think we would exceed that by ten times.”

At Wednesday’s Optimist Club meeting, held at John Cowley & Sons in downtown Farmington, she announced that $2,130 had been raised for the June 30 walk at Skyline High School in Ann Arbor.

“It really makes my heart sing to know that we can accomplish so much as a team,” Ahmed said.

There’s still time to donate, and you can give online: firstgiving.com/fundraiser/carol-ahmed/annarbor2018.