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Record Number: 10603
Displayed from: Feb 10, 2014 , until: Apr 10, 2014

Fort Wayne Community Schools celebrated one of this year’s Riley Champions and kicked off its annual Kids Caring & Sharing fundraising event for Riley Hospital for Children on Monday, Feb. 10.

Diana Overman, a fifth-grader at Harris Elementary School, was honored as a 2014 Riley Champion presented by Kroger at an all school assembly. The 11-year-old was born with cerebral palsy, coped with a major stomach illness and is now in her second battle with thyroid cancer. Even with 46 surgeries behind her, Diana loves to give back by passing out “angel bells” at Riley, participating in Riley Radiothons and speaking at Ball State University Dance Marathon.

“I’ve been through a lot,” Diana said. “But helping others helps me get through it.”

Riley Champions presented by Kroger is a program launched six years ago to honor Riley Hospital for Children patients who have inspired communities with their bravery and commitment to help others. Riley Champions reach beyond their own medical challenges to give meaning to their struggles. The 2014 Class of Riley Champions honors only seven Riley patients throughout Indiana.

Diana will be presented with a proclamation of recognition from Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry’s office and a banner will be unveiled for Harris Elementary School to display in her honor.

Diana is the third FWCS student to be named a Riley Champion.

Diana helped kick off the seventh-annual FWCS Kids Caring & Sharing fundraising event, which gives students a chance to help other children. The program is a special project of the Indiana Association of School Principals (IASP) to support Riley Children’s Foundation. Each year, FWCS sets a goal of becoming a Miracle Corporation, which means raising $1 for every student in each school in the district. Last year, FWCS raised $35,562.18 during the Hearts for Riley campaign.

Those wanting to support FWCS' efforts to support Riley Hospital for Children can drop off donations at any FWCS school building or the Grile Administrative Center, 1200 S. Clinton St.

With nearly 30,000 students, Fort Wayne Community Schools is one of the largest school districts in Indiana. FWCS proudly allows families to choose any of its 50 schools through its successful school-choice program creating diversity in each school, including some with more than 75 languages spoken. FWCS offers seven magnet schools focusing on areas such as science and math, communication, fine arts or Montessori at the elementary and middle school level. In high school, students can choose from the prestigious International Baccalaureate program, Project Lead the Way or New Tech Academy as well as other rigorous academic and specialty training programs.