Not long after one of her first grade students stole her heart, Jean Little realized that Ava Everhart wasn’t the only Greenfield student with cystic fibrosis, and that the government was not doing much to help in the fight against it. So she decided to take matters into her own hands.
Last year Little held a CF fundraiser in Williamsburg that raised $5,500. This year, with lots of help, she has moved Ava’s Magical Unicorns, a benefit for cystic fibrosis, to Greenfield with with hopes of a larger event and raising more than $10,000.
It will be held from noon to 11 p.m. Saturday, April 6 at the Greenfield VFW Ranch, 12868 Watt Rd.
The event gets its name from the fact that Everhart adores unicorns.
“I’m an all or nothing kind of girl, and every year I hope to get bigger and do more to fight cystic fibrosis,” Little said Monday. “It’s because I met Ava, and she’s such an amazing kid, and I got close to her family. I always wanted to do something like this but never had the right niche, and when I met Ava I knew this was what I wanted to do.”
Little said Everhart, a third grader, is not alone in her battle. She said there are also two students younger than Everhart at Greenfield with CF, as well as a middle school staff member.
Some of the events on this year’s schedule include: a poker run; a car show with a deejay, trophies, prizes and dashboard magnets from noon to 5 p.m.; a spinning wheel for prizes every hour starting at 1 p.m.; a cornhole tournament at 2 p.m.; Disney characters to interact with from 2-5 p.m.; a cake walk at 3 p.m.; musical entertainment at 5 p.m.; a flower presentation at 5:10 p.m.; split the pot drawing at 6 p.m.; silent auction ending at 9 p.m.; and face painting, a bouncy house, picture booth, Hula Hoops, sidewalk chalk, kids games, vendors, a bake sale, three food trucks and more all day.
Ava is the daughter of Jeff and Mindy Everhart. They found out when Ava was just 3 weeks old that she had CF.
“I was devastated. I cried,” Mindy said a year ago. “It’s heartbreaking to know your child has a disease there is no cure for.”
Mindy said she’s been told that Ava’s life expectancy is 30 to 35 years. But she also said technology is improving and that Ava is responding well to new medicine.
Little said Ava has less breathing issues and less frequent trips to the hospital.
Ava’s dream is to become veterinarian. But for now she loves school, is obsessed with unicorns, and loves gymnastics, her mother said.
“I dream of a day when I don’t have to do all these treatments,” Ava’s Facebook page says. “My parents and my doctors tell me we are getting really close. I want to grow older and hope to become a veterinarian someday because I love animals.”
Little said Ava touched her heart.
“She has completely changed my life,” said Little, who two years ago was Ava’s first grade teacher at Greenfield Elementary School. “Ava is very adult-like. I was doing sixth grade work with her in first grade.”
Little said the whole point of the event is to raise awareness about CF, and to raise funds for research.
For more information about Ava and the event, visit her Facebook page at Ava’s Magical Unicorns or Google at Ava’s Magical Unicorns@cureforCF.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522.