Kennedy Bruner of Garrard County collects toy donations for the Wyatt’s Warriors Toy Chests at the University of Kentucky Children’s Hospital for her Rogers Scholars community service project.

2018 Rogers Scholar Kennedy Bruner planned and organized an end-of-the-school-year celebration at all three elementary schools in Garrard County to support Wyatt’s Warriors Toy Chest for her community service project.

Proceeds from the “End of the Year Celebration! Bring on Summer!” fundraising event were donated to Wyatt’s Warriors Toy Chests at the University of Kentucky Children’s Hospital.

Wyatt’s Warriors, a nonprofit organization, is named in honor of a young cancer patient who, along with his grandfather, built and donated a toy chest filled with toys and other treasures to help cheer up pediatric patients at the hospital.

“I volunteer at UK’s pediatric hospital through Wyatt’s Warriors Toy Chest,” said Bruner, a senior at Garrard County High School. “The children at the hospital battling cancer mean the world to me.”

Bruner raised $300 from the end-of-the-school-year fundraiser and collected toy donations to give to Wyatt’s Warriors.

“Without community support, Wyatt’s Warriors’ Toy Chest could not exist,” said a representative from the nonprofit organization. “Since we supply toys for prize chests, the bulk of our donations are tangible items, instead of monetary. We do not currently have an operating budget to solicit donations. Therefore, exposure of our cause is critical. Kennedy’s project gave us that needed exposure, while helping us collect donations.”

Bruner invited students from all three elementary schools in the county and distributed more than 600 flyers to let people know about the event.

“In the end, it’s all about the children that we are impacting at the hospital,” Bruner said. “Thanks to the money we raised, we will be able to buy more toys and activities for the children at UK’s pediatric center.”

Bruner is the daughter of Alice and Jeremy Bruner.