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'She just likes to help people'

A 13-year-old Hamburg Middle School student raised $8,684 for Carly's Club over the summer.

Samantha Bennett organized a massive yard sale under four tents and an auction with the help of her family and neighbors. The event included a Chinese auction as well as a "special auction" that included items such as signed Sabres jerseys.

Carly's Club is an organization based at Roswell Park Cancer Institute that was founded to help make life easier for children who are diagnosed with cancer and their families. The organization provides support, education and fun.

"I felt bad for the kids that were sick," says Samantha, "[and] wanted to do something to help."

When she got started, she knew Roswell would be the focus of her efforts. Samantha says that Carly's Club's focus on children is what sealed the deal for her.

"It all started when she was 10," says Samantha's mother, Michelle. "We got a flier in the mail for cellphones for soldiers." Samantha's collection that year totaled 157 phones.

When Samantha was 11 she told her mom she wanted to "have a garage sale for kids with cancer." Samantha's mom said she assumed her daughter had run into a student with the disease at her school, but, as it turns out, "she just likes to help people," Michelle Bennett said.


Anna Hyzy is a junior at City Honors.