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Vaughn Messina, a fourth-grade student at Forest Lake, recently raised $1,025 to help two peers who are batting cancer. This past fall, Vaughn told his mother, Karen Maureen Messina, that he wanted to help them through the sale of his toys and by collecting donations.

“Helping people is a nice thing to do when someone is going through something hard, like having cancer,” Vaughn said. “I was bored with these toys and thought I could sell them and donate the money.”

Messina explained that Vaughn’s grandfather previously died of cancer, and said her son was surprised that children can also be affected by the disease. She said Vaughn learned the disease can be painful and the resulting sadness about his classmates prompted him to help.

Principal Anthony Ciuffo said the school’s character education program always promotes the importance of being kind, and Vaughn’s reaching out to his classmates is a prime example of this lesson learned. “This is a fine example of the kindness that students at Forest Lake show to one another, and Vaughn’s support of these classmates is wonderful to see,” Mr. Ciuffo said. “We are very proud of Vaughn.”