Ironton girl uses birthday to give gifts

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 29, 2005

The invitation to Cecili Weber's 10th birthday had a very special request - not for a specific doll or a particular album or for any sort of special gift.

In fact, Ironton resident Cecili asked that her guests not bring her any gifts at all.

Cecili's birthday falls in March, and she realized that many of her Christmas gifts were still new at that point. The young girl decided that she had plenty of things, and there was probably someone who needed the gifts more than she did.

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Cecili did a bit of soul-searching and the little girl made a decision that made her something fairly unique: A 10-year-old who understands self-sacrifice.

"I thought that I should give my presents to charity this year, instead of getting normal presents, since I already have a lot of things," Cecili said. "I'd rather give them to some more people that need them."

Lara Weber, Cecili's mother, was touched by the gesture, but said that it didn't really surprise her.

"I thought it was wonderful, she's an only child, and we have a big family Š she knows she's fortunate," Lara said as she smiled and tousled Cecili's hair. "She knows without having to be told."

The prolific sidewalk-chalk artist decided that she would ask her guests to bring art supplies to help entertain children at Camp Nabe, a bereavement camp for children ages 8 through 16 that have experienced the loss of a loved one.

"I love to do art and I thought maybe if I could donate some art supplies to the kids there, then they could use them too," Cecili said.

Beth Taylor is the Director of Development and Community Relations with Community Hospice of Ashland, which helps to run Camp Nabe in conjunction with Hospice of Huntington.

"She is just wonderful," Taylor said of Cecili. "I got to meet her and I was surprised at the level of maturity of this young lady, to see that she thought more of others than she did for herself."

After her candles had been blown out and her pinata had been smashed, Cecili and her mother collected the birthday gifts and took them to the camp. It was then that the little girl received the best present ever.

"I felt really good, I was pretty proud of myself for doing that," Cecili said. "Just looking at the people and how happy they were, it made me feel really good."

Cecili said she hoped her birthday donation to the camp was enough to inspire her friends to do the same thing.

"I know a lot of people that probably could donate to Camp Nabe," Cecili said. "I think a lot of my friends, they will probably will."

Cecili said that she has already decided to donate her birthday gifts again next year, though she has yet to decide who will be getting them.