Demonstrating the power of philanthropy at any age, 19 youth philanthropists were honored on Tuesday, September 20, at the CHS Young Ambassadors celebration. Their contributions to Carolinas HealthCare System patient programs and resources were carried out through individual and collective fundraising efforts or personal donations ranging from $19 to nearly $30,000. Through activities ranging from bake sales, to lemonade stands and school-wide fundraising campaigns, these remarkable children and teens—ranging in age from 3 to 15—are making a difference in the lives our patients, one dollar at a time.

Mike Rucker, Honorary Team Captain of the CHS Young Ambassadors, formally recognizes this group of young fundraisers every year. He emphasizes the responsibility they have each taken to set a positive example for their peers, and challenges them to nurture a philanthropic mindset throughout their lives.


Special thanks to all who were recognized as CHS Young Ambassadors for 2016:


  • Alison Archibald, a top fundraiser in the Levine JCC Kids Triathlon this year, raised over $1,000 to support Levine Children’s Hospital’s pediatric rehabilitation program and the Adaptive Sports and Adventures Program at Carolinas Rehabilitation.
  • Idaniz Barnhouse-Colon, Luke Berry, and James Pilon, all students of The Fletcher School, raised $2,000 for the Pediatric Nephrology Fund at Levine Children’s Hospital.
  • Ava Bridges and Sophia Sidhu, of Shelby, NC, raised $300 to benefit the pediatric oncology fund at Levine Children’s Hospital.
  • Everett Byers—age 3—learned the importance of giving back at a young age! Everett raised $19 for Levine Children’s Hospital at her neighborhood lemonade stand.
  • Brothers Jake and Spencer Davids raised $1,500 to benefit Levine Children’s Hospital’s pediatric rehabilitation program and Adaptive Sports and the Adventures Program through their participation in the Levine JCC Kids Triathlon.
  • Mindy Dawson, granddaughter of Sandra and Leon Levine, followed in her parents and grandparents’ footsteps by teaming up with a classmate, Caroline Robertson, to raise funds for Levine Children’s Hospital through a business they formed known as the “CM Charity Girls”.
  • Bentley Dawson, grandson of Sandra and Leon Levine, and Ria Deshmukh donated all of their toys and gifts from their joint-birthday party to patients at Levine Children’s Hospital.
  • Kaitlyn Ferrell formed “Kids4Cure”, raising over $300 for Levine Children’s Hospital through a variety of creative endeavors.
  • Lilly Howard raised over $100, by hosting neighborhood lemonade stands, for the Pediatric Nephrology Fund at Levine Children’s Hospital.
  • Elyssa Kim sold socks and t-shirts at her school which resulted in a $1,200 donation to the Paula Takacs Fund at Carolinas HealthCare System’s Levine Cancer Institute.  She also did a great job rallying a huge team (50 members strong) at this year’s Sarcoma Stomp, a 5k dedicated to raising awareness and funds for sarcoma. She is unable to be here today, but we have her dad, Dr. Edward Kim, here to accept on her behalf.
  • Khadijah Shaikh and Anum Imran organized a bake sale at their local mosque, raising $600 for Levine Children’s Hospital.
  • Mason Kendrick, our first-place fundraiser from the Levine JCC Kids Triathlon, raised just over $2,900 for Levine Children’s Hospital’s pediatric rehabilitation program and the Adaptive Sports and Adventures Program. Mason was honored as a Gold Level Young Ambassador.
  • Marina Sarantou is actively involved in the Miles Against Melanoma 5K, which benefits Levine Cancer Institute’s Melanoma and Immunotherapy Fund. She also participated in a sun safety video that is shown as part of the curriculum in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school system.
  • The National Honor Society of Christ the King Catholic High School National Honor Society members raised $1,600 for the Mark Daidone Cancer Research Endowment supporting pancreatic cancer research at Levine Cancer Institute.
  • And finally, special recognition goes to Charlotte Catholic High School student Mitchell Salvino for his personal efforts, along with that of his older brother, Matthew (now a freshman at Duke University) for spearheading an annual fundraising event “Cougars 4 A Cure” in recent years. Along with the support of 5MPOWER—a local charitable foundation—and the leadership of several Charlotte Catholic High School faculty members and coaching staff, the successful school fundraising initiative has raised $65,000 for the Carolinas Bladder Cancer Fund at Levine Cancer Institute since it was first launched in 2014.