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posted: 7/9/2012 2:07 PM

Elk Grove Village child receives Youth Service Award

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  • Character Coalition president Curt Hansen presents Izzy Ruiz with the Youth Service Award on July 3.

    Character Coalition president Curt Hansen presents Izzy Ruiz with the Youth Service Award on July 3.
    Courtesy Community Character Coalition

Submitted by Community Character Coalition of Elk Grove

Seven-year-old Izzy Ruiz of Elk Grove Village was recognized July 3 by the Community Character Coalition of Elk Grove for her lemonade stand fundraising project of 2011.

Her project recently came to light when she heard of a book and school supply drive being sponsored by Prince of Peace Church for needy Elk Grove students. Izzy decided to try and repeat her success of 2011, by holding a second lemonade stand fundraiser in 2012 and using the proceeds to support the book drive.

Izzy and her mother Donna Ruiz raised over $600 last summer during a one-day lemonade stand fundraiser for the Chicago Shriners Hospital. Donna and Izzy sought out retailers for donations for the stand so that all proceeds would be given to the hospital. They found local businesses to supply cups, napkins and lemonade. They asked multiple businesses to donate the printing of fliers, which Donna and Izzy tied with purple ribbon and delivered around much of the village. They also dropped off fliers at Village Hall and Elk Grove Fire Houses. On the day of the event, fire engines from across the village stopped by Izzy's house to donate to her cause.

The Community Character Coalition, upon hearing this remarkable story of a 7-year-old child, immediately decided to recognize her with a Youth Service Award, which was presented to her during a regular Tuesday meeting of the Coalition.

One of the goals of the Community Character Coalition is to recognize those who display the Six Pillars of Character Counts, and the Coalition esteems Izzy Ruiz as a model for the Pillar of Caring. She will hold the second annual Izzy Ruiz lemonade stand July 29 at the First Presbyterian Church in Elk Grove Village.

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