Aiden Norris, age 8, is shown with Joel Kercheval at Montezuma State Bank after depositing funds from a bake sale held on Friday, June 25 at both Montezuma banks. The bake sale raised $1,693.72 for the Xavior Harrelson Reward Fund. Aiden is the grandson of Junior and Jennifer Norris of Montezuma. Submitted Photo
By J.O. Parker
Aiden Norris of Montezuma didn’t let his youthful age of 8-years-old get in the way of helping others.
Aiden, the grandson of Junior and Jennifer Norris, wanted to do something for Xavior, the missing Montezuma boy, and at the urging of Jennifer, decided to host a bake sale.
The event was held on Friday, June 25 at Montezuma State Bank and People’s Saving Bank and at the end of the day, a total of $1,693.72 was raised for the Xavior Harrelson Reward Fund.
Jennifer said when she and Aiden were sorting the money, he thought they had raised $850.
“He helped take all the money up to Joel Kercheval at Montezuma State Bank so he could do the final count,” Jennifer said. “When Joel told us the amount, Aiden was so surprised he said, “WOW, that’s a lot of money.”
Aiden was so happy that he promptly asked his grandmother to take him to McDonalds to celebrate.
“Of course, I took him to get a Happy Meal,” Jennifer said.
Jennifer, along with the help of Irena McWilliams, started baking goods on the previous Sunday. And when Xavior’s grandmother, LeeAnn Hernandez, and father, Travis, heard about the bake sale, they both brought baked good that LeeAnn made and that others had donated to the effort.
“The amount of baked goods we had was amazing,” Jennifer said. “Aiden never had a dollar amount goal, he just wanted to be able to help out.”
Jennifer said Aiden stayed with her all day at the bank from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., outside of a 45-minute break.
“Aiden was very good at saying hello to all the people who entered the bank to let them know why we were there,” recalled Jennifer. “He would ask them if they would like something, always recommending that everything was good and always reminding them it was free with a freewill donation, so they could put in whatever they wanted.”
Jennifer said there were a few leftovers, which LeeAnn and Travis donated to the Poweshiek County Sheriff’s Office and to local first responders.
“When kids tell you they want to help, encourage them to do so and help them with ideas that they are able to do,” Jennifer said. “So many helped him accomplish something amazing and made his wish of wanting to help come true.”