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State Honoree

Garrie Brocato

North Carolina

Garrie Brocato, 13, of Charlotte, N.C., a seventh-grader at Southwest Middle School, recruited a team of friends to help her raise more than $36,000 for cancer causes and to organize events throughout the year to increase cancer awareness. Garrie's interest in volunteering began when she accompanied her mother to an American Cancer Society Relay for Life meeting several years ago. "I listened to what was going on and I knew immediately I wanted to be involved in this fight against cancer," said Garrie.

She gathered a group of friends together for the Relay for Life fund-raiser and in only three months, Garrie's team raised more than $4,000 by selling homemade valentines and bookmarks, and holding an Easter egg giveaway. When it was over, Garrie kept her team together, not only for future relays, but also to stage events focusing attention on breast exams, the dangers of cigarette smoking, skin cancer prevention, and other cancer topics. She holds weekly meetings at her home and sends out a regular newsletter to team members and sponsors. Garrie also initiated an art supplies drive for cancer patients at a summer camp, and shaved her head to show support for those suffering through chemotherapy treatments. "I know that all that I have done is so small, but I believe that if every person did one thing to make the world a better place, then it would be," Garrie said