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Fort HealthCare Receives Donations from Area 4th Graders

Thursday, June 8, 2023

Three generous and entrepreneurial area 4th-graders from Barrie Elementary chose Fort HealthCare as the beneficiary of their grants projects. Elena Fellin, Braquel Hunsicker, and Dixie Mulderink received grants as part of the School District of Fort Atkinson’s Mini Grant Project, which awards funds to students chosen from a pool of applicants on the merit of their proposed projects. The grants, which are entirely donations from area businesses and organizations, provide the seed money for the students to get their ideas off the ground. The project teaches students how to apply their knowledge, creativity, and task commitment to benefit a cause in their local community. It educates them about the grant process and how local nonprofits benefit from grant programs run by people in their community.

Two 4th grade girls and three medical staff stand in front of the Obstetrics & Women's Health clinic holding up hand-knitted baby hats.

Pictured (left to right): Deborah Schumacher, Dixie Mulderink, Gabby Peardon, Elena Fellin, Taylor Masek.

Elena and Dixie named their project Beanies for Babies. They hand-crafted thirty-five hats to donate to babies born at Fort Memorial Hospital. “They wanted to use their love of knitting to provide comfort and warmth to our newest community members, babies at Fort Hospital,” Tricia Fellin, Elena’s mother explained.

Obstetrics thanks Elena and Dixie for donating so much of their time, effort, and creativity in making loving knit hats for newborns. “We’re so grateful for these girls thinking of us and our community newborns,” said Deborah Schumacher, BSN, RNC, Obstetrics Manager at Fort HealthCare.

Braquel called her project Froggy Fidgets. Braquel made bead clips which she sold to raise money for fidget toys for pediatric patients at Fort HealthCare. She was able to purchase 80 Pop It toys and 220 Pop It keychains for children at the hospital.

Fort HealthCare is thrilled to receive the Pop It toys from Braquel’s Froggy Fidgets project. Fidget toys like Pop Its help relieve stress and can improve focus and fine motor control in children. “On behalf of our pediatrics patients, thank you Braquel for your thoughtfulness and hard work,” said Kathleen Gebhardt, RN, Director of Inpatient Services. “You’ve put a smile on so many faces.”

Fort HealthCare thanks these students and others for undertaking projects that give back to causes in their communities. These connections continue to bring people together in service of improving the health and well-being of our community.


A 4th grader in a froggy bucket hat sits on a concrete bench with Pop It toys on either side of her and some in her lap. She is smiling for the camera.

Pictured: Braquel Hunsicker

Two 4th grade girls sit on a kitchen table knitting baby hats. The girls each hold up one hand and put them together to form the shape of a heart.

Pictured (left to right): Dixie Mulderink, Elena Fellin.

A 4th grader in a froggy bucket hat stands behind a table covered in a tablecloth decorated with frogs and her set-up for selling bead clips and accepting donations at an outdoor event. She is smiling for the camera.

Pictured: Braquel Hunsicker