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Albany Medical Center Foundation

Our Donor Stories - Ashley Cirilla


Caring Sparks Creativity

This is a story of what happens when creativity meets caring.

Ashley Cirilla, an 11-year-old from Rotterdam, has always enjoyed singing, drawing and coloring, but when her Schalmont Middle School principal suggested that students take on a project to benefit a good cause, Ashley’s creativity assumed a new dimension.

Ashley Cirilla with one of the duct-tape creations that she sold to raise money for the Bernard & Millie Duker Children's Hospital at Albany Med.
Ashley Cirilla with one of the duct-tape creations that she sold to raise money for the Bernard & Millie Duker Children's Hospital at Albany Med
With the help of her father, Dennis Cirilla, D.O., an Albany Med anesthesiologist, she decided her “cause” would be kids at the Bernard & Millie Duker Children’s Hospital at Albany Med.

“It was a great teaching moment,” Dr. Cirilla recalled. “We often talk about how tough it can be for kids to be in the hospital. She picked up on that immediately.”

With 15 rolls of duct tape and the help of two friends, Madison and Chloe, Ashley went to work: “We made duct tape wallets, purses, hair bows, flower pencils and shakers. We also used a rainbow loom and rubber bands to make bracelets, necklaces and hair bands. We made them all by hand right in my room.”

Then Ashley sold her work at school during lunchtime and at sporting events, raising more than $250, which all went to help kids her own age at Albany Med.

“It’s a special kind of gift when kids take time to help other kids,” Dr. Cirilla said. “We’re very proud.

”“I really feel as if I have accomplished something,” Ashley said proudly.

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