By David Yarger
Everyone in Niagara County can usually admit the region is notorious for helping each other out and having each other's backs. For 12-year-old, Town of Niagara resident and Edward Town Middle School student Samantha Tierney, that has been her mindset for years now.
Since Samantha was 8, she has raised at least $1,400 per year for a different charity of choice. In 2018, Samantha raised $1,600 and recently donated that, along with bikes and gift cards to Roswell Park's Courage of Carly Fund, which "gives children with cancer and blood disorders at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center the fighting chance they all deserve. Providing everything from unforgettable memories and family events to financial support, the Courage of Carly Fund offers hope and a little bit of extra happiness to children, teens and their families," according to its website.
How did she do all this? By selling hot dogs, baked goods, iced tea and lemonade outside of her Town of Niagara home.
"I do this because it helps people that are either in pain or have to go through things - like kids are my age going through cancer, and it's sad. ... I was just thinking I want to help kids my age that have cancer," Samantha said.
While Samantha also enjoys softball and cheerleading amongst other things, she said donating to good causes is something she enjoys most.
"It's just kind of my way of saying 'I'm sorry,' " she said. "Some children do pass away (due) to cancer and it's not fair to them that they have it. Cancer did not have a right to go into their body."
Year in and year out, regardless of the charity, Samantha agreed that seeing the reactions of those on the receiving end really hits home.
"(I) feel thankful that this money is going to be donated to them and that they can get toys they want before they go through chemo and so they can do things and not get bored," she said.
Doing this every year is strenuous Samantha said - dealing with several hot days in the sun - but knowing she can lend a helping hand is what keeps Samantha raising funds.
"(I'm) just thinking I can help people, and that makes me happy," she said.