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Teen recognized for raising money for homeless

VICTORVILLE • Corey Elder had seen his family donate money to the homeless in the Victor Valley for years.

This year, the 14-year-old University Prep student decided to take the task into his own hands.

Elder organized a fundraising event and donated the proceedings to the High Desert Homeless Services as a Thanksgiving gift. The Victorville City Council recognized the boy’s contribution at its first public meeting of the year Tuesday evening.

“It was our family thing to help the homeless,” Elder said. “These people need something and it just came out of the feeling of Thanksgiving.”

Elder decided to hold a one-night event at Victor Bowl on Mariposa Road. He would charge participants $4 extra on top of the regular fees so that he could donate that portion.

He created a Facebook event and asked his friends to come out.

To his surprise, about 100 people showed up to the Nov. 11 fundraiser, and he had to ask for additional lanes. He raised $400 that night.

Staff at the shelter was shocked when he donated the money.

“It was like they couldn’t believe I was donating that money,” he said. “It made me feel very accomplished. I just felt really good about myself.”

“I think it’s absolutely wonderful,” said Susie Hollenbeck, executive director of the High Desert Homeless Services. “We had kids before that had collected pennies and change. We had kids who saved all their pennies to donate to us. ... That really shows a giving heart and it would be nice if everybody had that kind of heart.”

Tomoya Shimura may be reached at (760) 955-5368 or TShimura@VVDailyPress.com. Follow Tomoya on Facebook at facebook.com/ShimuraTomoya.

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