Pink Ribbon Breast Cancer Fund co-founder Judy Pickett admires the art made by Leah Craft, Brooke Balbi and Casey Halkett, left to right. The Pleasant Grove students made the duct tape items and then sold them to raise money for the breast cancer group. Courtesy photo

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Girls turn unique art into donation

By December 14, 2011

When Leah Craft’s younger sister told her about the YouTube video that demonstrated how to make duct tape articles, Leah accessed the site, learned the skills and began practicing the art.

Friends of the Pleasant Grove Middle School eighth grader — Casey Halkett and Brooke Balbi — soon caught the creative bug and the three young women proceeded to inspire each other and to share new ideas.

“I just kept thinking bigger” Leah said.

Soon after they began their endeavor Casey, a Facebook Fan of “Stand Up For Cancer” and who has several neighbors who are cancer survivors, suggested that because October was breast cancer awareness month they could make some pink ribbon articles, sell them and donate the proceeds.

In the weeks that followed, the eighth-grade girls spent endless lunch hours in the administrative office at Pleasant Grove working and, with the help of the staff, began selling their hair bows, ties, wallets, roses and purses to everyone walking or breathing within the radius of the school.

The girls also made a more formal presentation to the school board and gave each member a duct tape gift. “People loved the stuff and the cause” the girls said, especially since each item was an original piece of art with no two exactly alike because of the nature of the art and of their colorful supply of duct tape.

After school hours on Dec. 7 the girls had the opportunity to personally present their gift of $360 to Judy Pickett, co-founder of the Pink Ribbon Breast Cancer Fund, and Pam Hagen, Community Relations coordinator for the El Dorado Community Foundation.

When asked how they chose the foundation as the recipient of their fundraising efforts, Casey said, “We wanted the money to stay in El Dorado County, so I researched on the internet and found the Pink Ribbon Fund.” The Pink Ribbon Fund has been responsible for 110 local scholarships and grants totaling more than $128,400 since its inception in 2000.

The El Dorado Community Foundation is a California registered 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization which administers more than 160 funds. For more information about the work of the foundation and the giving opportunities available visit or call (530) 622-5621.

Special to Village Life


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