Local teenager gears up for second fundraiser
Skylar Wood is not the typical 15-year-old high school sophomore.
Few teenagers her age already have organized a fundraiser and founded a new club at East Davidson before reaching the midpoint of their high school career.
Wood isn't done yet.
On May 31 at Bethel United Methodist Church, Wood is holding her second fundraiser in as many years, this time in an effort to not only help her beloved animals but ordinary people who need a little help. Wood's “If Everybody C.A.R.E.S” fundraiser will benefit Davidson County Meals on Wheels, Davidson County Smart Start and the Davidson County Animal Shelter.
C.A.R.E.S stands for compassionate, altruistic, reliable, exemplary and supportive, which all are qualities Wood hopes to inspire in people through her fundraiser.
“I feel like it's more important to reach out to your neighbors,” Wood said. “We're basically trying to bring the community together. If you have a better community, it's basically going to spread and help even more people.”
Last year's “Paws for a Cause” event raised more than $1,000 and collected hundreds of dollars worth of pet supplies for the Davidson County Animal Shelter. Wood came up with the idea as a way to honor France “Teenie” Johnson, a close friend and fellow pet lover who passed away in 2013.
Woods came up with “If Everybody C.A.R.E.S” to hopefully broaden the reach of her fundraiser.
“Most importantly, it's not just me,” said Wood. “It takes the whole community, all kinds of people making donations and backing this thing 100 percent. If it weren't for them this wouldn't happen. It takes months and months of planning, and you need people to donate their time and money, and not just from Thomasville but from all over Davidson County. It takes a lot of hard work and late nights to plan for this.”
“If Everybody C.A.R.E.S” features a silent auction, car show, face painting, live music and a carnival setting full of bounce houses for children. Food and pet supply donations also will be accepted. Donated food items will be split between Fairgrove Family Resource Center and Cooperative Community Ministries with the Davidson County Animal shelter receiving any pet supplies.
Skylar's father, Charles Wood, said his daughter decided she wanted to start fundraising after watching the local morning news last year. Even he's surprised his daughter shows such a desire to help others.
“You wouldn't think she was just a 15-year-old kid,” said Charles Wood “She's pretty sharp. We were watching the Good Morning Show, getting ready to take her to school. The anchor had a dog on his lap, talking about adoption and she said I'm going to make the Davidson County Animal Shelter some money. The next thing I know, she's making phone calls and making t-shirts.”
As a freshman Skylar Wood felt like East Davidson needed a debate team, so set out to bring one to the school. She made a presentation to the principal and organized a group that went to a debate competition at Appalachian State University.
Wood, who is considering going into the medical field after graduation, currently is president of the school's new debate team.
“The reason I did this to begin with is to try and bring people together,” she said. “I want to help people realize that you need to stop thinking about yourself and think about someone else. You may see a person on the side of the road, and they may be having a terrible day, but you can't at least smile and hello.”
Skylar said she plans to put further fundraisers on the back burner next year in order to focus more on school. That doesn't mean she'll quit completely.
“She loves doing this stuff,” said her father. “She's going to focus on academics next year but I'm sure once the summer comes she'll be somewhere doing something to raise a nickel to give to somebody.”
The “If Everybody C.A.R.E.S” fundraiser runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Bethel United Methodist Church, 508 Fisher Ferry St. Sponsors for the event include Shuler Meats, The Old Homestead, The Candy Factory, The Army Navy Store, Thomasville-Archdale Pediatrics, Thomasville Family Practice, A Backyard Retreat, Prime Lumber Company, Citizens Insurance Company and Fishing Fever.
Staff Writer Eliot Duke can be reached at 888-3578, or firstname.lastname@example.org.