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State Honoree

Jennifer Molby

Michigan

Jennifer Molby, 13, of Riverdale, Mich., an eighth-grader at Alma Middle School in Alma, has collected more than 15,000 hats for cancer patients and homeless people throughout Michigan as the state director of Hats Off For Cancer. Jenny, who lost two grandparents to cancer and whose mother is a cancer survivor, was inspired when she learned that the national director of Hats Off For Cancer was only 15 years old. “She was a kid like me,” said Jenny. “She reinforced my feeling that I could help and motivate other kids my age to help others.” So in 1997, when Jenny was just 10 years old, she started the Michigan chapter. She sought support from area service organizations and businesses, and spoke to numerous community groups about her project. Jenny sponsored fund-raising “Hat Days” at her school, during which students donated hats and money to purchase new hats. Jenny has since created an offshoot of the program that provides gently used hats for local homeless people.