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Braden Cox (center), the older brother of the late Brenten Cox, poses for a photo with Halley Hamon (left) and Erica Phillips, members of the volunteer engagement team at Arkansas Children’s Hospital. Braden has been involved with Sloan-Hendrix’s fundraising efforts to benefit Children’s since it began.

A fundraiser organized by the Sloan-Hendrix Gifted and Talented Program has raised more than $10,000 to benefit the Arkansas Children’s Hospital.

Members of the GT program have raised funds to benefit the hospital through fundraising efforts and cookbook sales.

The project began several years ago, as a tribute to Sloan-Hendrix student Brenten Cox, who passed away in 2016. Cox, the son of Freddie and Delores Cox of Ravenden Springs, was diagnosed with a brain tumor on his brain stem on June 2, 2015.

“Brenten was a boy with a contagious smile that would light up the world,” said Valerie Matheny, Sloan-Hendrix business teacher. “His caring, warrior spirit was remarkable!”

Once funds are collected, students look up wish list items found on Arkansas Children’s Hospital’s website, and then GT teacher Melanie Stephens purchases the items and contacts the hospital to set up a donation date.

Patients admitted to Arkansas Children’s receive the finest medical treatment, emotional support and loving care available anywhere. However, children and their families in the hospital have other special needs that are met through the generosity of individuals and organizations like Sloan-Hendrix’s GT Program.

This year the group raised $2,000 and donated numerous items including Play-Doh, coloring books and markers, card games, men and women travel kits, hair brushes, mouth wash, pajamas, blankets, rattlers, Barbie dolls, food items, bubbles and more.

After a two-year break due to COVID, students were able to take the wish list items to Children’s and donate them in person.

“I want to commend these students for their generous hearts,” Matheny said. “Their willingness to use their time to help others makes me proud.”

Students who have been involved in fundraising efforts over the past few years include Braden Cox, Harper Rorex, Cade Grisham, Carley Morgan, Chaney Johnson, Lily Morris and Lakyn Phares.

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