When 7-year-old Evy Moore decided she wanted to save the elephants, her parents, Janelle and Jeremy, weren’t all that surprised. Evy is a little girl with a big heart.
She and her little sister, Lucy, 6, can routinely be found running lemonade stands or selling their own original artwork to raise money for cancer research.
“Evy’s pretty much always thinking of things to do for others. It’s never for herself,” said Janelle.
And when Evy decides someone or something needs help, she goes all in.
“She really wanted to shave her head this year for St. Baldrick’s,” Janelle said, referring to the popular fundraiser of the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, which raises money for childhood cancer research.
Encouraged by her family to try and think of alternative ways to help, a book from the Easter Bunny sealed the deal.
“For Easter, I got a book and it was a story quiz book and it had one about an elephant,” Evy told the Republic-Times.
Combined with what she learned at school about the shrinking natural habitat of elephants and the devastating effects of ivory poachers, she decided the gentle giants needed her help the most.
What resulted was an “Elephant Carnival” held Saturday in the parking lot of Gillan Graphics in Columbia.
With help from family, friends and her parents’ co-workers, the event dodged the rain and raised about $1,300 for the World Wildlife Fund.
Thanks to social media, planning the event “took on a life of its own,” Jeremy said. “And once people started offering (to help), it was just amazing. It was like the ceiling wasn’t high enough to let people get involved.”
The day included a bounce house, games, silent auction, craft booth, balloon animals, face painting and food. Sponsorships and raffles for services and discounts were donated by local businesses Gruchala’s, Summit Sign and Graphics, Hytech Auto Trim, Fabulous Finds, Gillan Graphics & Awards, Bluffside Farms Landscaping, Harres Home Furnishings and Appliances, and Schlemmer Automotive. About 150 people came to the carnival throughout the day.
And while help for the elephants is a good thing, the legacy of the day may have been the lessons learned by Evy and Lucy.
“I teach piano,” said Evy’s grandma, Joyce Henson. “I have students who want to quit, and when you start something you should finish it. It was a great lesson to teach children today.”
“I think she also learned how much work it takes,” Janelle added. “How much dedication.”
While there are no definite plans for future events, it seems certain more philanthropic efforts by Evy will take place down the road.
“She’s always looking for people who need help,” Janelle said. “She always wants to help other people.”