Local travel stop seeks to raise money for sick kids

Published: Sep. 10, 2016 at 5:14 PM CDT
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ARDMORE, Okla.-- A Love's Travel stop in Ardmore held a fundraiser Saturday, as part of a month long campaign to support the Children Miracle Network Hospitals.

The Love's Travel Stop off of exit 32 has been raising money for C.M.N for 18 years, along with all the other stores across the nation. This year's campaign kicked off August 25th, and will continue until September 30th.

Saturday, volunteers at the store washed cars, sold barbecue and baked goods...and even lemonade and snow cones with the help of teen diagnosed with Alopecia.

17-year-old Katherine Rodgers says she was diagnosed with the disease at the age of 2.

"It's an auto-immune disorder, where the immune system fights the hair follicles, which makes the hair fall out." Rodgers said.

Rodgers has her own table inside, where she sold her lemonade, snow cones and cake pops.

"It's really fun helping the children." Rodgers said.

General manager Matthew Balak says their goal for the day is $1,000. But since the campaign started, they've already raised nearly $9,000.

"It's near and dear to our hearts. I have a 4 year old son and he's healthy...and I'm blessed." Balak said. "So every time I look at him, I see the parents that have the sick kids, and it just makes us want to do a little bit more."

The store will be selling barbecue every weekend...and will have a golf tournament at the Lake View golf course in Ardmore, on September 30th.

The store even started a garden out front, where they are selling tulips to raise money. There are 191 tulips in the garden, representing all the children that C.M.N was unable to save last year.

"The one's who lost kids, they never got a bill. All they had to do is grieve," Balak said. "So those of us who are grateful enough to have healthy kids, we want to do our part."

Rodgers enjoys doing her part, too.

"I like helping people, and this is my way of helping them." Rodgers said.