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South Dayton boy donates wreath proceeds

A Gowanda middle schooler surpassed his fundraising goal from making and selling wreaths.

Jimmy Keller, who made Christmas wreaths for the fourth year in a row, had hoped to raise $1,200. He donates all the money he raises to various charities.

His parents, James and Jennifer Keller, said their son donated $1,429.

Jimmy, 12, began his fascination with wreaths four years ago, when the South Dayton boy and his family, which also includes mom, Jennifer, and sister, Ally, visited Dixieland Tree Farm in Irving, N.Y. One of the staff, Ian Forbes, was making a wreath, and Jimmy was captivated. He watched Forbes, who then had Jimmy try making his own, and he gave it to him. Jimmy proudly brought the wreath home and displayed it on the front door.

A few days later, it was the Christmas break from school, Jimmy was bored and decided to make wreaths. That year he made $93, and decided to donate the money.

“I didn’t have no use for it. I just donated it,” Jimmy said.

This year, he gave the money to Eden Cozy Quilts, Eden and Gowanda Schools for anti-bullying/safety programs, Gowanda Food Pantry, S.P.C.A., Eden Community Building Fund, Healing with Horses, and the Amanda Hansen Foundation.

Jimmy and his parents said they want to thank those who helped him with his successful venture this year.

Next year, he wants to make $1,700, his father said.