News | Published December 10, 2012

Great grandma's inspiration brings donation to the Medical Center

Ten-year-old Alex Marshall sold hand-made bracelets and key chains at the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts last summer. He made $400 and he knew exactly what he wanted to do with a portion of the money - donate it to Mount Nittany Medical Center.

"My mom suggested I have a booth, and when we talked about what to do with the money I earned, we decided to donate part of it," said Marshall. "I chose the hospital because I knew my great-grandmother was involved there."

The fourth grader at Park Forest Elementary made approximately 80 multi-colored paracord bracelets and key chains that he sold during Children and Youth Day, which kicks off the festival held in State College each July. Paracord is highly elastic and can withstand immense weight, making it perfect for hiking and camping. Its common use in the wilderness inspired the name of Marshall's booth: "Survival in Style."

"I sold out of my bracelets. When people saw the sign that said I was donating money to the hospital, they said that was really nice," said Marshall. "One person did not buy a bracelet, but still made a donation."

Marshall's great-grandmother, Eileen Leibowitz, encouraged him to make the bracelets and key chains, and was also his inspiration for donating part of his earnings to the hospital. Leibowitz is the co-chair for the campaign for emergency medicine for Mount Nittany Medical Center.

"My great-grandmother is fun and always shows me how much she loves me. She does so many things for the community and she has always taught me how important it is to donate to different causes," said Marshall. "I am lucky to have her in my life."