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Girl's birthday wish comes true

Blue River sixth-grader Ava Loveless is all smiles over themoney she received that will go to Riley Hospital for Children.Donations for the hospital were all she wanted for her 12th birthday.

By DONNA CRONK - dcronk@thecouriertimes.com

When thinking about how to celebrate her 12th birthday, Blue River Valley sixth-grader Ava Loveless had only one thing in mind. She wanted to raise money to benefit Riley Hospital for Children.

Her dream came true, taking in $400, and exceeding her expectations. She plans to hand-deliver the money soon.

Ava has a personal reason behind her love for Riley. Her brother Finnton Loveless, 9, was born there with a chromosome disorder, 5p minus syndrome, which is short for Cri du chat syndrome. Essentially, he is missing his fifth chromosome. He is unable to walk or talk.

“I know how hard it is to take care of him and to buy stuff for him,” says Ava. “I didn’t think I was going to get that much money.”

The siblings’ birthdays are very close. Ava was born Jan. 26, 2007 and Finnton three years later on Jan. 28, 2010. They are the children of Jerome and Brooke Loveless.

Says Brooke about her daughter, “She just always wanted to give back. I’m really proud of her for this.”

Ava’s Papaw, John Turner of New Castle, echoes the pride. “I’m just really proud of her for wanting to do it.”

Brooke says Finnton spent so much in-patient time at Riley that she and her daughter would stay together at the Ronald McDonald House.

The goal to raise money for the hospital that has served her family is not a new idea to Ava.

“I’ve actually been wanting to do that for my last birthday,” she says. “I’ve kind of always wanted to raise money for Riley.”

She’s excited about hand-delivering it very soon. When she’s not being a junior philanthropist, Ava enjoys volleyball when in season, social studies in the classroom, drawing, roller skating and playing on the trampoline. She attends Ninth Street Church of God.

Ava recently won an art contest by drawing the cover of her school’s upcoming yearbook. She also enjoys little kids and hopes to one day become an art teacher.