Rathdowney student hosts a Valentine’s Day fundraiser with heart

RATHDOWNEY State School, which has a total of 37 students, hosted a Valentine’s cupcake sale for HeartKids Sweetheart Day.

The HeartKids Foundation runs the campaign every February 14 to help raise funds for vital research into paediatric heart disease and also to provide support for families of children living with heart disease.

The Rathdowney event was the brainchild of the school captain, 11-year-old Mia Reilly.

Her mother Janine said the charity was important to the Reilly family because Mia was a heart kid herself.

“Mia was born with a condition called coarctation of the aorta and had her first surgery when she was just 18 months old and her second when she was 2,” Ms Reilly said. 

“She was on blood pressure medication from then until two years ago and although her aorta is still partially blocked her blood pressure is now within normal range.

“She has check ups every year at the Lady Cilento Hospital.”

Ms Reilly said she had baked 290 cup cakes for the day and Mia iced and packaged them all, even though she had to work in the dark during a power outage.

“So far Mia has raised $1,477.31 via her Sweetheart Day 2018 web page with another $46.20 to add and $116 in cash donations,” she said.

“Rathdowney Service Station also has Mia’s cupcakes for sale and if we register the total amount collected by midnight tonight, Virgin Money Australia will match everyone’s donation dollar for dollar.

“We would like to thank staff and students of Rathdowney State School for supporting Mia’s efforts.”

School principal Tina van Bennekom said Mia had shown skills beyond her years in planning and organising the event.

“I’m very proud of her for initiating the fundraiser and having the energy and drive to see it through,” she said.

“I’m very impressed with what she has achieved.

“We want our kids to give back to the community and this is one way they can do that.”