Niko Condodemetraky, Kyle Wilk and Lex Condodemetraky shovel a driveway on Edgewater Avenue in Laconia, one of more than a dozen driveways they cleared yesterday to raise funds for food donations. (Adam Drapcho/Laconia Daily Sun)
Enterprising boys shovel to help the hungry
By ADAM DRAPCHO, LACONIA DAILY SUN
LACONIA — A week before Christmas, when they heard that the Salvation Army food pantry was running low on cereal, friends Kyle Wilk and Landen Brothers, and Landen’s mother, Elizabeth Brothers, went to WalMart and bought as much as they could to make sure that other children in their community wouldn’t go hungry during the holidays. But what about afterward?
Chewing on that problem led to the creation of the “Cereal Heroes,” a group of young boys who spent their snow day yesterday shoveling walks and driveways in Laconia, and raising hundreds of dollars in the process.
The Cereal Heroes includes Wilk and Brothers, who are joined by brothers Lex and Niko Condodemetraky. Guided by Lex and Niko’s mother, Andrea Condodemetraky, who also announced their effort on Facebook, they set out at 9 a.m. yesterday morning, shovels in hand, and began going door to door in the Pleasant Street area, asking residents if they would like help shoveling their driveway in exchange for a donation to support a program at Pleasant Street School that sends needy children home with food to eat when they’re not at school.
“It gives kids food on weekends that don’t have much,” said Wilk.
Their pitch was a hit. By mid-afternoon, when they returned to the Condodemetraky home for a doughnut break, Wilk and the Condodemetraky boys – Brothers was unable to join them yesterday – had cleared more than a dozen driveways and had raised more than $200. That money will be added to donations that family and friends already provided, which the boys had used to buy several shopping carts full of cereal, breakfast bars and oatmeal.
When asked how it felt to know that they were doing something to help, all three boys answered in unison: “Very good!”
According to Andrea, all of the people they encountered on Wednesday were friendly and supportive of their effort. Lex noted that one woman said that she hired someone to plow her driveway, but donated to the effort just the same.
“I was really excited and happy about that. We didn’t even have to work for it, and we got the donation. We will be using that for a good cause,” said Lex.
The morning passed quickly for the busy boys, who were grateful that the temperatures weren’t too cold and that the snow was light and easy to move. They spent the whole time debating football, said Andrea. Lex, 10, is a Denver Broncos fan while his brother Niko, 9, supports the Miami Dolphins.
Wilk, 10, a New York Giants fan, said he didn’t tire even after several hours of shoveling.
“When you thought about the cause it’s going toward, it makes it easy,” Wilk said.
The friends, all students at Pleasant Street School, planned to spend any future snow days in the same manner. Andrea created a Facebook page for the group, titled “The Cereal Heroes-Fighting Hunger One Box at a Time.” She is hoping that their success might result in other young people to find ways to better their community.
To request the help of the Cereal Heroes, contact them via Facebook. Or, Andrea said, keep an eye out for a group of cheerful boys walking down the street and talking football.
“If you see these kids walking down the street with their red shovels, feel free to grab them,” said Andrea. “Our hope is to inspire more of their friends to make the world a better place, starting in their own backyard.”
Kyle Wilk, Niko Condodemetraky, Landen Brothers and Lex Condodemetraky filled shopping cart after shopping cart with cereal at Mr. G’s Liquidation Center in Tilton, which gave the boys a discounted rate. (Courtesy photo)
With donations from family and friends, the Cereal Heroes were able to purchase many shopping carts full of cereal. After their efforts on Wednesday, they will buy at least 200 more. (Adam Drapcho/Laconia Daily Sun)