People: Hannah Robertson

December 08, 2003|GARY MOYERS

A 7-year-old Boyle County girl decided she could boost the Danville Fire Department's Christmas toy drive with a little entrepreneurial effort.

Hannah Robertson, daughter of David and Nancy Robertson, spent the summer creating and selling beaded jewelry in custom colors, and earmarked the proceeds for the fire department's annual effort to provide Christmas gifts to needy children in Boyle County.

Thursday, the Woodlawn Elementary School student paid a surprise visit to Fire Chief Mike Thomas to donate the fruits of her labor - a check for $200.

"This is enough to take care of one whole family, courtesy of a 7-year-old girl," said Thomas. "How great is that?"


Hannah said she got the idea to help when the toy drive came up in conversation with some friends.

"My friends talked about it in church one day and said they were going to buy teddy bears to give," said Hannah. "I wanted to help out, too, so I decided I could sell jewelry and give the money."

"It was all her idea. She came up with it on her own, and we knew nothing about it until she asked to bring the money here," said David Robertson.

Hannah got her first box of beads last Christmas and has been churning out the jewelry ever since. She sold items at the Great American Brass Band Festival, high school ball games, at school - even to her sister's friends at Florida State University.

"I sold a lot of necklaces, I mean a lot, at Brass Band," said Hannah. "I made one for my sister at Florida State University in gold and maroon, and her friends liked it and asked for 10 more of them.

"I make all kinds of jewelry," said Hannah. "Mom is wearing one of my necklaces now. I make necklaces, bracelets and some rings out of beads with all kinds of colors."

The youngest of five sisters, Hannah said she created and sold the jewelry as a money-making project because her lemonade stand didn't pan out.

"We've actually had to hold her back a little," said David Robertson. "She's spent a lot of her time making and selling these necklaces."

Thomas is amazed that Hannah came up with the idea and then raised so much money.

"This just blows you away, doesn't it?" he said. "She gave as much money as some of our corporate partners. To have a 7-year-old come up with this idea on her own, then work to make it happen, makes you realize we have some wonderful children in this town."

Hannah, it turns out, has the fire department in her blood. Her great-grandfather was a fire chief in Fort Campbell for 30 years.

But her work for the toy drive was totally her own, said her father. "I'd love to take some credit for what she's done, but she came up with this totally on her own."

Thomas said the program received a huge weekend boost when an appearance by country singer Eddie Montgomery coupled with a bicycle auction and a drive by a local motorcycle club brought in "a considerable amount."

"We're still getting applications from families who need help, and we want to try and help every one of them in Boyle County," said Thomas. "We can always use more donations of money and toys."

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