Helping kids through lavender

Purchase lavender from local students Aug. 23 and help the Children's Cancer Association
by: SUBMITTED PHOTO From left to right: Lauren Henning, 10; Sydney Steinberg, 10; Lauren Jones, 9; and Emily Henning, 10 will sell lavender for the third year in a row on Aug. 23 from noon to 6 p.m. at the corner of Vista Ridge and Coeur D Alene drives in West Linn.

Leave it to the kids to allow lavender to help children battling cancer.

Called The Lavender Girls of Vista Ridge, the 10 or so girls ages 9 and 10 will hold their third annual lavender sale from noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday at the corner of Vista Ridge and Coeur D Alene drives in West Linn.

All proceeds, like in years past, will go to the Children's Cancer Association (CCA). Spearheaded by twins Lauren and Emily Henning, 10, of West Linn, the girls were determined to put the excess lavender they have growing in their yards to good use by helping critically ill kids in their community.

'We had a bunch of lavender at our house and we wanted to use it for something good and our mom worked at CCA as a volunteer,' Emily Henning said.

The sisters said they are making lavender pouches, sachets and homemade chocolates for their upcoming sale.

'We would love everyone to stop so we can donate more money to the CCA and the pouches are really pretty,' Emily said. 'You can put them in a lot of places - in a sock drawer, in your laundry room or car or in your running shoes.'

Two years ago the sale brought in $47 and last year they earned $152. This year they're hoping to raise $200 to help children with cancer.

'We've told some of our friends to tell people about it. The CCA is putting it on their Facebook and our mom is emailing a bunch of friends,' Lauren Henning said.

Emily and Lauren's mother, Jeanette Henning, said that while the girls have fun at their sale, they take their donations seriously.

'They all get together and make a group decision,' Jeanette Henning said of what child in need the group would help. 'It's like a little club. They've held meetings and they carry notebooks around.'

CCA staff said the group's dedication is noteworthy - and helpful.

'These philanthropists-in-training have been busily bolstering up their inventory in preparation for the big day,' said Krystal Ten Kley, a grant writer and communications specialist with CCA, in a press release.

Three years ago the funds raised helped a three-year-old girl with a terminal cancer diagnosis have a princess prom.

'The CCA put together a neat night with her at a hotel. She had her hair done, wore a princess dress and got to go in a limo,' said Jeanette Henning.

And last year, funds helped a four-year-old girl with leukemia get a pink iPod, matching speakers and a furnished backyard playhouse.

'This year,' Kley said, 'the girls will help grant the wish of another worthy warrior who has bravely battled a life-threatening illness.'

The sweet smell of lavender is fitting for their kind deeds.

'I like the smell the most because it smells fresh and summery,' Lauren said.

Emily agreed, adding, 'I like how it's purple, which is the CCA's color.'

For more information, contact Kley at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..