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Longmeadow youth contribute to Shriners' mission

By Natasha Clark

Reminder Assistant Editor

LONGMEADOW A creative trio from Longmeadow recently made a $160 donation to benefit the Shriners Hospital for Children.

During the town's 2005 celebration of Long Meddowe Days, friends Ilanna Tariff, Naomi Penn and Sarah Klein manned a booth that offered face painting and sold items like mechanical pencils.

With the slogan Give a Little, Help a Lot, Tariff told Reminder Publications that residents were really kind when it came to giving.

"Some people just came over to donate money. They didn't even buy anything," said Tariff, a Williams Middle School student.

No stranger to giving, Tariff said she enjoys helping others when she can.

"I'm really big into the donating money thing," she shared. "At malls I can't pass those [donation stands] without putting money in."

So Tariff came up with the concept to host a fund-raiser at Long Meddowe Days and enlisted the help of her close friends.

"We've been best friends since the second grade and I've known Sarah all of my life," Tariff said. "We all made posters and did the pencils together." While they sold mechanical pencils, the youngsters also had regular pencils that they decorated themselves with things like pom poms, and had pencils with initials on them pre-made for the event.

Tariff said Shriner's Hospital was also impressed and thankful for the donation.

"They didn't think that we could earn all that money because we did it in one day. They were really astonished that we had that much money," she said.

She also encouraged other youth to donate their time and energy toward charitable causes.

"I think everyone should do it because it's a great cause. What if you were the less fortunate one? You would want someone to do it for you," she added.