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[whitespace] McAuliffe community raises $6,000 for ill kindergartner

Cupertino--McAuliffe Elementary School raised a little over $6,000 June 19 to support 6-year-old Richie Ang and his family.

Richie, a McAuliffe kindergartner, was diagnosed with a brain tumor the first week of June. McAuliffe parents and staff organized the event to help Richie's family defray the medical expenses. The Ang's insurance company has decided not to cover Richie's medical costs, claiming the illness was a pre-existing condition.

The school raised $3,000 through donations by McAuliffe parents, staff and classes the week prior to the benefit.

More than 650 community members attended the "Get Well Richie Ang Day" and participated in the car wash, bake sale, silent auction and flea market.

People came from all over the area to support Ang and his family. One woman donated baked goods to the event. She usually gives to Stanford Children's Hospital, but she wanted to see her work directly help someone, said Scott Canali, a McAuliffe parent.

Another man read about the event in the media and stopped by with a "Benefit Car Wash" sign and donated $75.

Parent and student volunteers washed 145 cars. The average donation for the car wash turned out to be $10 per car.

Anne Casler was one of the 80 parent and student volunteers who helped organize and run the event. Neither Casler nor her fifth-grade son, Davey, know Richie, but after hearing about his condition, they volunteered at the event.

"[What happened to Richie] is really sad," said Casler, who worked in the flea market. "[Davey] loves to wash cars. His friends are here, and we've been here since 10 a.m."

Kalisha Roberts, a sixth-grader at McAuliffe, also volunteered by washing cars. "I'm really glad that our school is into helping others," she said.

The San Jose Children's Musical Theater donated four tickets to Richie and his family to see their production of Heidi this summer.

In addition to providing financial support, the McAuliffe community is assisting the Angs emotionally by setting up playdates for Richie and coordinating the delivery of food to their home three times a week.

Results of Richie's biopsy showed a benign, 1 1/2-inch, slow-growing tumor centrally located in his brain. The growth is next to the part of the brain that regulates body temperature, blood pressure, heartbeat and other critical functions.

"Logically speaking, it's benign, but because of its center location inside his brain and the size, it's dangerous," said Letty Quizon, Ang's mother.

Richie begins chemotherapy this week.

Overall, the school raised more than $9,000 for the Richie Ang Fund, a fund the school started at the Saratoga National Bank.

Donations to the Richie Ang Fund are being accepted at Saratoga National Bank.
Michelle Ku

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Web extra to the July 1-7, 1999 issue of Metro.

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