August 25, 2013 | By Randy Abraham, Special Correspondent
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Three local youths recently won $1,000 Kohl's Cares scholarships for their community service.
Jessica Nedry, 10 and a sixth-grader at Westminster Academy in Fort Lauderdale, was recognized for creating bracelets to raise money for charitable organizations. It started two years ago when she created a batch of custom bracelets to help raise money for a friend with cancer.
The bracelets sold out at the first showing, and Jessica decided to create more for a range of charities. Her first design series was themed ''Hope'' and dedicated to her grandmother, who died of breast cancer before she was born.
"I never knew my grandmother, so I designed a bracelet to help give hope to other women fighting breast cancer," said Jessica, of Pompano Beach.
Since then, she created Friendlybands.com and raised $2,400 in the past year. She recently entered into a partnership with Seagull Industries, which provides employment opportunities and activities for the disabled.
"I don't have enough room in my house for all my supplies, so they will help me with storage and logistics, and our partnership will provide Seagull's clients with meaningful and productive work activity, which makes me feel good," she said.
Eve Moll, 15 and a 1Oth grader at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, was recognized
for creating artwork to raise funds for charitable causes. She began at age 11 when she created holiday cards to raise money for a friend going through chemotherapy. "I always liked to draw, so when my friend Jake got sick, I thought I'd do something to help him," she said.
Over the next three years (the duration of his chemotherapy), she created and sold 10,000 cards on behalf of her friend, who conquered his cancer, and went on to raise more than $40,000 for other charitable groups.
She has since set up a website, ArtByEve.org, to showcase her work and receive requests for fundraising
efforts. After researching each request, she creates artwork appropriate for that group and its mission.
"I've learned that people are very generous and willing to rally around for something that benefits others," said Moll, of Davie. "And I'm really proud to have the opportunity to advocate for charity groups."
Her efforts were recognized when the Miami Heat's charity organization selected a painting of hers as part of an art competition challenge. A donation was made to the winner's charity of choice, so during the recent playoffs, Heat officials presented her with a check for $7,500 to combat cystic fibrosis and unveiled her winning painting, which is on permanent display at the Amencan Airlines Arena.
Sarnuel Kelly-Cohen, 12 and an eighth-grader at North Broward Preparatory School in Coconut Creek, won his scholarship for helping the Ann Storck Center, a nonprofit that serves children and adults with developmental disabilities, by creating and staging a musical production that raised more than $12,000.
Samuel, of Plantation, who has competed in academic and musical talent competitions for years, said he began performing regularly at the center several years ago, but middle school studies and his other activities placed too many demands on his time.
"I thought performing a musical would be a perfect opportunity to make up for not being able to entertain the children lately," he said.
He wrote the lyrics, booked a nearby auditorium, sold tickets to the show, and enlisted a crew of peers to handle the lighting, sound and stage set-up. The response was so overwhelming that Ann Storck officials entered Samuel in the scholarship contest without his knowledge.