BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Downtown Elementary’s Penny Wars fundraiser was supposed to raise around $5,000.
The school raised more than triple that. At the center of it all was one kindergartener.
Devland Allen was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when he was just two weeks old.
“Sticky mucus in my lungs makes it harder for me to breathe,” Allen said.
Devland is eager to talk about the condition. His family, looking for a way to raise awareness and funds, worked with Downtown Elementary to make the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation the beneficiary of this year’s fundraiser.
“And then it just blew up,” Devland Allen’s father Brendan said. “Nobody expected this level of success or community, but we are so grateful and so blown away.”
Penny Wars, held during Downtown’s Spirit Week just before Spring Break, pulled in more than $15,000, the whole community motivated by Devland’s courage and charm.
“I don’t think he really realizes that this is all directly influenced by him,” Brendan Allen said. “I don’t think he gets it, that a fundraiser that usually pulls in five, six, seven thousand dollars pulled in $15,000 because to meet him is to love him.”