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Elementary student’s Fundraising Efforts Embody ‘I am Craig’ Spirit

April 06, 2016

Two years ago, Harry Schneider was driving on I-76 when his car skidded on ice and rolled. The accident left him a paraplegic.

Granddaughter Carleigh Yearous, now 12, visited him at Craig Hospital, where she was always willing to step in and help her “Papa,” says Jaime Yearous, Carleigh’s mom. “[My dad’s] medical needs did not seem to bother her. It was always nice to see the staff encourage Carleigh and her siblings and cousins to help out and get involved with their Papa’s rehab and ‘new normal.’”

Carleigh took helping one step further. She decided to raise money for Craig’s Therapeutic Recreation (T-Rec) Program, which promotes fitness and wellbeing by helping patients return to their favorite activities or discover new ones.

She had participated in some of the T-Rec activities herself and saw firsthand how important the program is to recovery. So, the Chinook Trails Elementary School 5th grader and Junior Optimist Octagon International club member suggested the club’s annual “penny war” fundraiser support Craig. The other students agreed, and in April 2014 the Colorado Springs club donated $1,093.10 to the Craig Hospital T-Rec program.

“I am very proud of her for taking the initiative to advocate for such a good cause,” Jaime Yearous says. “Carleigh has a joyful and giving spirit, and she is always quick to jump in and help those in need.

“She learned so much about caring for others up at Craig,” she adds. “We all left Craig with a true understanding of their motto—‘I am Craig’—as we all knew we were an important part of my father’s rehab. All of our lives were enriched by the people and experiences we had at Craig.”