Elementary school goes marching to raise funds - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

Elementary school goes marching to raise funds for a special needs student

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The students of Ashley River Creative Arts Elementary went marching Friday afternoon, chanting, "Who are we marching for? MARY ASHLEY!"

Mary Ashley Barbot is a special needs student at the school who is now in need of a living kidney transplant. The cost of her dialysis and hospital visits as she waits is weighing on her family, so her classmates stepped in to help hosting the fundraiser, March for Mary Ashley.

Mary Ashley's father Chip Barbot says, "No words can really explain the gratitude and how humbling this is. It's truly amazing to see these bright little faces, and see how hard they have all worked. I really can't say thank you enough."

Nearly 5 thousand dollars was raised for the Barbot family with another $1,200 earmarked for MUSC. Kids no older than Mary Ashley stepping up big to bring in the cash.

Fifth grader Luke Shaw is one of those kids. He raised nearly $250 all on his own, by playing his mandolin outside of his Dad's store in downtown Charleston. "I heard about the March for Mary Ashley and I went out and played and raised money that way." Shaw says, "I was glad to help and I am really proud of it. It leaves a good feeling inside of you."

Mary Ashley was, of course, the center of attention on Friday afternoon. She smiled and waved as kids cheered her name. When prompted by her mom, Charlene Barbot, she smiled and said into the camera, "Thank you Ashley River", blowing a big kiss at the end.

For now, it is a waiting game for Mary Ashley and her family. Since she needs a living kidney transplant, she has to wait for an actual donor. Her family is asking that anyone willing to donate, be tested. For more on how to help, visit her website.

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