Kids come together to raise money for charity


The Bunny Group raised \$185 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society at the Oxford Farmers Market March 7. From left to right: Luke Moore, Ziyi (Niuniu) Zhao, Annie Reynolds, Loren Krigel-Portich, Kora Smith and Coral Krigel-Portich. Photo by Caroline Roethlisberger.

By Caroline Roethlisberger

A group of Kramer Elementary first-graders who call themselves “The Bunny Group” raised $185 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society during its first fundraising event at the Oxford Farmers Market on March 7.

Luke Moore, Ziyi (Niuniu) Zhao, Annie Reynolds, Loren Krigel-Portich and Kora Smith sold hand-made bookmarks, magnets and ornaments to raise money for children with blood cancer to support their school’s Pennies for Patients program.

The first-graders work together to make the crafts they sell, and their mission is “to be kind to everyone.” While their parents support them, the Bunny Group members created the group themselves.

The kids came up with the idea to raise money for children’s charities at school. Niuniu got the idea from an entrepreneur at her summer camp and wanted to raise money for kids with cancer after hearing about the Pennies for Patients program.

“The Bunny Group is a helper for kids,” said Luke.

Their name came from his love of bunnies, and he thought it was cute.

Niuniu’s mom, Ying Zhao, said she was surprised when her daughter first told her their idea. She supported the idea for the Bunny Club, because “their idea should be cherished, taken seriously and nurtured,” she said.

“I love the creativity and that this is a self-led group,” said Kora’s mom, Marcia Bimmel Smith.  

Moore said that she has loved watching the kids collaborate.

“I hope that it teaches them empathy, inclusion and the value of working hard as both individuals and as a collective, while giving them skills and confidence for future innovation, philanthropy and entrepreneurship,” said Moore.

Loren, Niuniu and Annie said they love working with their friends.

“The Bunny Group is nice and kind,” said Kora. “Other kids can join the group if they want.”

Moore said the group is planning to fundraise for The Dragonfly Foundation, a Cincinnati-based group that helps support families affected by pediatric cancer.  

Nuinui hopes the Bunny Group will be able to attend more farmers markets and church events once the ban on group gatherings, because of the coronavirus, is lifted. Annie also hopes to continue to raise money for more children’s charities in the future.

“The kids are hoping to be back at the farmers market when it is safe and healthy for them to do so,” said Moore.