Fundraiser at the Franco Center is Saturday

AUBURN — Six weeks ago, the Nason family was in Florida waiting in line at Sea World to feed the dolphins when several children cut in line in front of them.

Six-year-old Maddox asked his mother why. Melissa Nason realized they were there on a Make-A-Wish visit.

“We told him, ‘These kids had very bad illnesses and they got to make a special wish because who knew what the future holds for them, and that’s why they got to go in front of you,'” she said.

The idea of sick children bothered him. A lot. 

Maddox spent the car ride back home drawing pictures of hospitals, rain clouds and frowning kids, sad “because they couldn’t see their parents.”

Then, for weeks, he asked his mom what they were going to do about it.

“He’s got this compassion that I have no idea where a 6-year-old gets it,” Melissa Nason said.

They talked about creating a lemonade stand to raise money, but it was the wrong season. The next idea was a bake sale, then a craft sale. Organizers of a craft fair this Saturday at the Franco Center agreed to donate a table and a portion of their raffle proceeds to Maddox.

On Wednesday morning, the Sherwood Heights Elementary School first-grader colored a sign for his table on bright green paper, “Please help. For sick kids.”

With some help from his great aunt and grandmother, he plans to bring more than 200 crafts. Maddox has made glittery snowflakes and picture frames out of Popsicle sticks. He’s cut ornaments out of salt dough to bake in the oven and paint.

They plan to make fudge, snowball cookies and Rice Krispies Treats.

“I just, like, care,” he said. “I just care about kids.”

Maddox’s first idea was to take proceeds to buy “supplies and medicine” to make sick kids better.

His mother explained that was tricky. He couldn’t make them better all by himself.

Toys were the next obvious idea, something to “get them to have a happy life,” he said.

Melissa Nason contacted Maine Medical Center, where Maddox, born eight weeks early, spent time as a baby. They suggested buying toys for the playroom that patients are able to sign out and take to their rooms. Maddox will help shop for them.

“He’s already got his mind working,” his mother said.

She’s contacted Central Maine Medical Center, as well. All of Saturday’s proceeds will go to toys or gift cards for children.

“I just found out this morning he’s got a goal of $200,” Melissa Nason said. “That he hasn’t wavered, for a 6-year-old, (over) about a two-month time span to stick to something that doesn’t have an end result of getting you something — that, to me, is pretty big. I’m just super proud of him.”

An early contender for toys that make him smile: “toy dirt bikes.” 

Saturday’s craft fair is from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Maddox plans to work the table the whole time.

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