WEST CALDWELL, N.J. – Sophia Pedrazzi is not your typical 8-year-old. While many of her classmates will be spending time at the local park or community pool on Saturday, Sophia will be doing something a lot more productive.
The West Caldwell resident will be organizing the third annual “Funds for Friends” sale at her home on Ravine Ave. The lemonade and toy sale has raised over $1,800 since the summer of 2012.
Sophia, with the help of her mother Janet, began the fundraiser three years ago to raise money for two of her friends who are ill. When she was 5-years-old, Sophia asked her mother what fundraising was as Janet was preparing to run in a charity race, and the rest is history.
“After explaining the concept of fund raising to her, Sophia declared she was going to have her own fundraiser so that she can help too,” Janet Pedrazzi said. “She decided to sell her artwork. She insisted I mark the family calendar and that we begin our preparations.”
Since its inception, Sophia has donated all of the money to two separate causes: a friend named Owen in Maryland and another friend Rafi, whose charity run “Rafi’s Run” essentially peaked Sophia’s interest in fundraising.
Sophia said the greatest part of the fundraising is when she hands the money over to her friends in need.
What makes this even more special is Sophia actually runs in the charity races before giving the donations to her friends.
She said: "My favorite part is handing over the money to Owen's family and giving it to Rafi's fund because I love to see the smiles on their faces."
The third annual “Funds for Friends” will take place on Saturday, June 7, at Sophia’s home in West Caldwell. The address is: 90 Ravine Ave, West Caldwell.