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While Enjoying Fall Fest Saturday, Be Sure to Stop for Some Hot Chocolate and Donate to a Great Cause

Bryan Middle School eighth-grader Amy Bowles is hosting her annual fund-raiser for the Lungevity Foundation.

This Saturday, Oct. 13, residents have an opportunity to get outside and enjoy the cool days of autumn at the annual Fall Fest at York Road and the Illinois Prairie Path, by the Old Train Depot.

Sponsored by the Elmhurst Park District and the York and Vallette Business Association, Fall Fest has become a fun family tradition, with safe trick-or-treating for costume-clad kids, face painting, pumpkin painting, pony rides and more.

This year, while you're breathing in the fresh fall air, Bryan Middle School eighth-grader Amy Bowles will be collecting donations for lung cancer research to help those who struggle to breathe every day. This is the sixth year of her hot chocolate stand. She will be set up from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Fall Fest.

Amy hopes to capitalize on the large crowd to get as many donations as possible for the Lungevity Foundation. Amy's dad, Tom Bowles, was diagnosed with lung cancer when she was just 7 months old, and he continues to fight the disease today.

The hot chocolate (with marshmallows, of course) is free with a donation; to date, Amy has raised thousands of dollars for the foundation.

Amy, her mom, Michele, (who is a teacher at Bryan), and other family members are very active not only with the hot chocolate stand, but also with the lung cancer walk for Lungevity, Breathe Deep, which will be held Nov. 3 at the Riverwalk in Naperville.  Michele has been a volunteer and coordinator for the Walk for several years.

The 3/4-mile or 1 1/2-mile walk raises money for lung cancer research. Check out the event website for all the details.

And, for another Elmhurst connection to the Lungevity cause, Lincoln Elementary School teacher Michael Casten and his wife, Lindsay, are again donating proceeds from the sale of Mama Bracelets to Breathe Deep Naperville. Click here to purchase the jewelry.

The Castens' 2-year-old daughter, Ella, was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy, a genetic disorder that causes motor neurons in the spinal cord to die, ultimately weakening muscles to the point of atrophy. Mama Bracelets raises money to help find a cure for SMA, too. Read more about Ella and her fight here.

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