Katie Laskey of Bowie recently celebrated her birthday in a unique way with her friends. Katie—along with Siobhan Fay, Annelise Park and Savannah Granzow—decided instead of gifts to ask their guests to make donations to one of two specific charities.
The four Archbishop Spalding sophomores celebrated their Sweet 16 with more than 100 guests on March 3. They collected $950 in donations at the party that featured traditional a birthday cake, a deejay, a band and food.
The girls raised $600 for the Mortel Family Charitable Foundation, an organization founded in 1997 by Dr. Rodrigue Mortel to serve the economically, socially and intellectually deprived children and adults of Haiti. The girls also raised $350 that will be used to buy supplies for the Happy Helpers, a local charity where Spalding students routinely volunteer by making and distributing sandwiches to Baltimore area homeless.
As the girls learned, the gift is in the giving and they hope that others will follow their lead by asking guests to support charities as a part of their Sweet 16 celebrations.
This story was contributed to Patch by Barbara DiToto. Do you have a story about local volunteers giving back to the community? Send your story to