Chapel Hill, NC - Jennifer and Michael Hodshon, children of Jay and Debbie Hodshon of Cary, were co-recipients of the Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy Award, presented by the N.C. Triangle Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals at a ceremony held at Prestonwood Country Club in Cary.
Jennifer, a senior at Panther Creek High School, and Michael, an eighth grader at Salem Middle School, have raised more than $26,000 for cancer research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center through their company, Bookmark My Word. They shared the award with 14-year old Nathan Woodward, who raises funds for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
The pair's bookmarks sell for $1. In 2001, when Jennifer was nine and Michael five and a half years old, they asked their parents to start a company. The response was, "sure, but come up with an idea that will help others."
Over time, their venture expanded into an annual event called Caroling for a Cure, where the siblings use the holiday season to raise spirits in their neighborhoods, while raising awareness among their peers and communities about the need for cancer research and treatment and the importance of private funds for cancer research.
In nominating the pair, UNC Lineberger staff noted, "These young people are deeply responsible, exhibit superb leadership as they engage their peers to help, and willingly sacrifice their time to run a company whose goal is to raise money for cancer research. Jennifer and Michael inspire the young and old alike with their passion, commitment, maturity and dedication."
To learn more about Bookmark My Word, visit the company's website at: http://bmmw.yolasite.com/