Student gives birthday donations to Optimist Club’s Rady Children’s Cancer Fund

Anjali Haripriyan donated $340 to the Del Mar/Solana Beach Optimist Club’s Rady Children’s Cancer Fund. Accepting her gift were Optimist Susan Pfleeger and President Dave Eller. Photo/K. Billing

By Karen Billing

When Carmel Valley’s Anjali Haripriyan turned 11 this summer, she decided she would like to forgo gifts and encourage her birthday party guests to donate money for a Del Mar/Solana Beach Optimist Club charity instead. As a result, the incoming sixth grade student at Sycamore Ridge School in Carmel Valley was able to deliver a check for $340 to the Rady Children’s Cancer Fund at the Optimist Club’s Aug. 8 meeting.

“Here’s a little girl who’s already thinking of others,” said Optimist Susan Pfleeger. “That’s really unusual for someone her age.”

In the spring, Anjali was honored by the Optimists at their Vic Kops Children’s Challenge Awards in the category of humanities. Vic Kops created the awards 30 years ago as a way to find kids in a league of their own and encourage them by honoring them. The awards have carried on his name since he died in 2007.

“It’s a ripple effect of what Vic Kops started so many years ago,” said Pfleeger said. “I think we accomplished what Vic wanted, that if you reward good behavior, you’ll get more good behavior.”