From seventh grade through high school graduation, National Charity League is that special opportunity for girls to work together as a team with their mothers doing philanthropic projects for others.

It’s described by Colorado Springs Chapter co-president Michelle Bender as a time “to foster strong mother-daughter relationships, and at the same time, develop powerful female leaders who will make a difference in the community for years to come.”

For the Class of 2022, the focus was the outdoors, adopting Friends of Cheyenne Cañon as their philanthropy, and completing projects such as watering sesquicentennial trees above Helen Hunt Falls and reclaiming a flowerbed at Starsmore Discovery Center.

Altogether the local chapter’s 150 members help more than 17 area philanthropies, including helping with special needs riding therapy at Colorado Springs Therapeutic Riding Center, providing meals at Ronald McDonald House and putting together care packages for Operation Homefront. In the past three years, mothers and daughters contributed 6,322 volunteer hours.

Seniors in the Class of 2022, wearing white dresses and flowers in their hair, were honorees at a fall tea at Pinery at the Hill carrying out the class’s outdoors theme: Isabella Bassett, Abigail Batterson, Ella Chura, Caroline Crann, Madeline Duncan, Audra Frickey, Sofia Gagliardi, Kate Gassman, Lannie Hanson, Chloe Hollard, Cayla Kirschbaum, Kristiana Klein, Zoe Lachnidt, Grace LaJoie, Emma Lindsey, Christina Matteson, Catherine Pederson, Dori Peloso, Karlee Pinell, Hope Stark, Emma Steinbruner, Kate Twede, Kade Vaughan, Chelsea Webber.

The seniors were models for a fashion show that started with outfits from their everyday lives, sports and hobbies. Then came their fashions of choice from Eve’s Revolution.

Acclaimed All-American long-distance runner Katie Rainsberger, record setter at Air Academy High School, University of Washington and University of Oregon, now a graduate student at University of Colorado working toward the Olympics, encouraged the girls toward their theme “Bloom Where You’re Planted.”

“It’s easy to get caught up in the future,” she said. “Take a moment and enjoy the here. Don’t forget where you are right now.”

She had learned from experience, she said, “getting to a goal, it’s too easy to be obsessed.” Her constant is “practicing gratitude” and “sharing joy.” Toward this, she said the graduating seniors received a journal “to plant your roots and live in your world.”

Applications are available now for girls in sixth to ninth grades and their mothers for National Charity League, founded locally in 1990, at nationalcharityleague.org/chapter/coloradosprings. There are 200,000 members nationwide.

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