Kate Chiavetta, a fourth-grader at South Davis Elementary School in Orchard Park, has raised more than $800 over the last four years for a variety of good causes.
"She does this by asking her birthday party guests to bring donations for organizations in lieu of a gift for herself," said her principal, David R. Lovering. "This is Kate's way of helping others deal with problems, as she has to deal with her problem of severe allergies."
The Orchard Park 9-year-old, who loves to read, says she arranges her birthdays this way "because it makes me feel like I'm not the only person in the world with a problem. I like to learn about the charity first."
"Kate is a girl with a big smile and an even bigger heart," said her mom, Karen Chiavetta.
The youngster, who plays the clarinet, is also a Junior Girl Scout working toward her Bronze Award. She belongs to her school's art club and plays sports. She has been dancing since age 2 and recently became an altar server at her church.
Her mom said that Kate's "participation in so many activities reflects her determination to not let her severe food allergies or asthma hold her at bay.
"Kate is a major participant in the management of her food allergies and asthma. She's done a lot to help teach others about food allergies.
"Since first grade, Kate's been giving a presentation to her class about food allergies. She teaches kids what happens when someone has an allergic reaction, which foods she can't have and what to do if she has a reaction.
"Kate has also chosen to donate to the Food Allergy Network this year, a group she already is very familiar with. The money she raises will go toward educating others about food allergies," her mother explained.
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