Pack of friends raises more than $28,000 for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

"I wasn't even sure how we were going to raise a thousand dollars at first."

But 14-year-old Madyson Howard and her friends had a goal, to raise $10,000 dollars for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in memory of her great aunt Betty Elmhirst who died at the age of 53 one year ago after a long struggle with lymphoma.

"It really hit me because I didn't get to spend a lot of time with her but when she passed away I knew that I really wanted to do something to help," Madyson said. 

So that's what she did. She formed a team of six girlfriends, backed by their supportive parents, who called themselves The Dreamers, never really dreaming they'd have such a big impact. But they did.

They baked cookies for a bake sale, organized a bottle drive, held a movie night and restaurant night and send hundreds of emails and letters urging friends and family to donate.

"Total? After grand finale, like the last day? I think it was $28,000? Like a little over $28,000," Madyson told us.

And they did all that in just seven weeks.

"The biggest thing that I'm sure all of us have ever done," Madyson said.

The effort earned Madyson a Student of the Year designation from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, as well as a $2,500 scholarship to college. But these girls are just freshman at Henry Ford II High School in Utica Community Schools, and now that they've had this experience of organizing, of volunteering and of helping others, they just want to do more.

"We just really enjoyed it, it felt really good at the end. So we just want to help out any way we can," said friend Mia Rooney. 

The girls say they don't know what cause they'll take on next but they definitely want to continue to volunteer and encourage other teenagers to do the same.

"Donate and volunteer as much as you can. It really helps out a lot of people," said friend Ashley Leduc.

"I think it's a really good thing for younger people like us to donate and raise money because when you grow up maybe you don't have as much time to do it, so just trying to get as much good done as possible is a really good thing," Madyson said.