From the heart

Han­nah Har­ring­ton en­cour­ages more schools to host a Heart Art Show to ben­e­fit the IWK.

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - FRONT PAGE -

“So far, we have raised $10,000, and if we could get other schools in­volved it would be so cool be­cause see­ing so many peo­ple care and a tiny idea turn into some­thing huge would be un­real.” Han­nah Har­ring­ton

Han­nah Har­ring­ton doesn’t know what she would do with­out her younger brother, Quinn.

Nine-year-old Quinn un­der­went open-heart surgery at Hal­i­fax’s IWK Health Cen­tre when he was just six weeks old.

Han­nah, who was nine at the time, felt that her fam­ily mem­bers had a pos­i­tive ex­pe­ri­ence and were treated with care at the hos­pi­tal. And be­cause of that, she wanted to en­sure other fam­i­lies felt the same way.

That’s why she cre­ated the Heart Art Show at what was then her school, Queen El­iz­a­beth El­e­men­tary in Kens­ing­ton.

Now 17 and a soon-to-be grad­u­ate from Kens­ing­ton In­ter­me­di­ate Se­nior High School, Han­nah is mak­ing it her mis­sion to get more schools par­tic­i­pat­ing in the IWK fundraiser.

“We’re send­ing out a writ­ten let­ter from me as an in­vi­ta­tion talk­ing about my idea, and we’re go­ing to see how many schools we can get in­volved.”

Her goal is to have all Is­land el­e­men­tary schools host a by­do­na­tion fundraiser on Feb. 12 where stu­dents cre­ate and sell any type of art that in­volves hearts to sym­bol­ize her brother’s surgery.

Quinn, who is now the same age Han­nah was when she started the fundraiser, at­tends Queen El­iz­a­beth El­e­men­tary and plans to do what he can to raise money.

“I feel like it would be nice to help kids that went through the same thing I did,” he said.

Look­ing back, Han­nah is im­pressed with what her fundraiser has ac­com­plished.

“Af­ter our first year we de­cided we would ask other schools, but this year I de­cided I wanted it to be a big event.

“So far, we have raised $10,000, and if we could get other schools in­volved it would be so cool be­cause see­ing so many peo­ple care and a tiny idea turn into some­thing huge would be un­real,” she said.

She and Quinn share an in­ter­est in bas­ket­ball, swim­ming and movies.

“Af­ter ev­ery­thing he went through, you re­al­ize how much more you ap­pre­ci­ate hav­ing him in your life,” said Han­nah. “Hav­ing a sib­ling is great, but this makes him that much more im­por­tant.”

She said the Heart Art Show is a great event, and it shows how a com­mu­nity sup­ports some­one and their ideas.

“It’s nice know­ing you get to help other peo­ple.”

Lynn Anne Ho­gan, P.E.I. phi­lan­thropy of­fi­cer with the IWK Health Cen­tre Foun­da­tion, said for Han­nah to have been in Grade 4 when she made the con­nec­tion that other fam­i­lies should have a pos­i­tive stay at the hos­pi­tal is won­der­ful.

“She still has that pas­sion, which is re­mark­able.”

Ho­gan said Han­nah’s school did the fundraiser un­til she grad­u­ated from Grade 6, and Bloom­field El­e­men­tary be­gan in the se­cond year, rais­ing $8,000 to date.

Money raised sup­ports crit­i­cal care ar­eas, such as pur­chas­ing new equip­ment, fund­ing re­search and sup­port­ing pro­grams.

“Fundrais­ers like this are what make the hos­pi­tal world-class,” said Ho­gan. “P.E.I. chil­dren de­serve noth­ing less than the very best.”

She thinks Han­nah is a smart, young lady, who shows lead­er­ship.

“It’s a tes­ta­ment to her fam­ily. They have in­stilled some amaz­ing val­ues in her,” added Ho­gan.

“I hope more schools will join her Heart Art team be­cause it’s a mag­i­cal event, and it’s very touch­ing.”

ANCELENE MACKIN­NON/TC ME­DIA

Quinn Har­ring­ton gets a kiss from his older sis­ter, Han­nah, who is en­cour­ag­ing all P.E.I. el­e­men­tary schools to par­tic­i­pate in her Heart Art Show, which raises money for the IWK Health Cen­tre. Quinn un­der­went open-heart surgery at the hos­pi­tal when he was six weeks old.

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