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Windsor Locks Leos Look To Flush Away Childhood Cancer

Courant Community

The Windsor Locks Leo Club is "Flushing Out Childhood Cancer One Flush at a Time."

The group launched a unique fundraising effort for September, which involves decorated purple toilets and floral arrangements.

The colorful thrones are placed on people's lawns, who then pay a $10 fee to have the bowl removed or placed at a friend's home. A $20 toilet insurance can also be paid, which ensures the modern art will never return.

Proceeds benefit the Connecticut Children's Medical Center oncology unit.

Dawn Sopelak, the Leos adviser, said the Lions Club, the parent organization, is renowned for its work on behalf of children. The organization recently began raising money for pediatric cancer research. September is Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month.

Sopelak wanted a fundraising effort that stood out. After some research on Google, she came upon the decorative toilets. She worried the toilets would be too heavy for Leo members to transport.

"They voted on it and here we are, four toilets in," Sopelak said, as she looked over her front lawn.

The toilets were donated by families who underwent home remodels.

"We came out here one Sunday afternoon, bleaching them to the hilt," she said.

The toilets were painted in purple, a universal color for cancer awareness. Autumn bouquets in the bowl added a final touch. A sign accompanies the bowl, which explains the group's fundraising goal.

"If the fundraiser takes off, we will be needing some toilets. Clean toilets preferably," she said.

Several donors have already paid the fee to have the toilets installed on a friend's or relative's front yard.

"Any donation or amount is graciously accepted," Sopelak said.

The toilets are dropped off under the cover of darkness, which makes for a nice morning surprise for homeowners.

"The toilets are in three parts and we will be walking them down the street to somebody's lawn," Sopelak said.

Halie Shea, the Leos' president, said, the group came around to Sopelak's idea after they started painting and decorating the toilets.

"It's very creative and it's going to grab a lot of people's attention. It's a good way to raise money for a good cause," she said.

She said the boys enjoyed spray painting the toilets.

The fundraiser runs the entire month, which allows ample time to surprise a friend or loved one with the colorful lawn ornament. She expected the toilets will be delivered first to Leo or Lion's Club members.

"It's kind of weird to lay a toilet on some random person's lawn before everyone knows what's going on," she said. "I might get a toilet on my lawn."

For a delivery or donation, contact the Leos at www.windsorlocksleos@gmail.com.

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