Chelsea Wycoff, 13, of Piper City, presents a donation to Veronica Toohill, occupational therapist at Easter Seals in Bloomington. (Photo by Carrie Muehling/WJBC)
By Carrie Muehling
BLOOMINGTON – A Piper City 4-Her has followed through on her pledge to donate money raised by the sale of her champion rabbits at this year’s Illinois State Fair to Easter Seals of Bloomington.
Chelsea Wycoff, 13, presented an envelope containing a total of $3,733 to her occupational therapist, Veronica Toohill on Thursday afternoon. Wycoff also shared some ideas she has for how the money could be spent, including the purchase of a piece of equipment they had borrowed from the Peoria location for a previous therapy session.
“For example, we borrowed the steam roller from Peoria, and it gives pressure on your stomach and your back. That felt really good – I plan on purchasing one of those for myself,” said Wycoff, who receives services for Asperger’s syndrome and sensory processing disorder. “Probably just the steam roller, anything that Veronica has ideas about. Basically, things that would help kids with sensory processing disorder, as well as autism or Asperger’s.”
It’s a request that will help those receiving services in Bloomington-Normal and the surrounding area.
“Oftentimes people just say, ‘Use it where you need it.’ Other times people have specific ideas. Chelsea had some things she would like to see her money go for, and we certainly honor those requests and do that,” said David Bateman, community president for Easter Seals in Bloomington. “We also think it’s important to let people know that 99 cents out of every dollar stays right here in our community, and I know that was important to Chelsea and her mom.”
Bateman is glad Chelsea has had a good experience with Easter Seals.
“First of all, it’s kind of neat to see… just even the smile on her face is kind of a good reminder for all of us of how wonderful it is to give to something you are excited about and support, and so that even means more that she chose to give it to Easter Seals since she’s been involved here and receives services,” said Bateman.
When asked about her favorite part of winning grand champion with her pen of rabbits and raising money through the auction at the Governor’s Sale of Champions, Wycoff’s response would humble anyone.
“I think my favorite part of the whole thing was making a difference,” said Wycoff.
Carrie Muehling can be reached at email@example.com.