2.3 min readPublished On: April 18, 2024

UF Health Names Leesburg High Student ‘High Schooler of the Year’ For Fundraising Efforts

Ella Prater was announced as the High Schooler of the Year at the University of Florida’s annual 24-hour Dance Marathon fundraiser this past weekend.

Ella is a sophomore at Leesburg High School. This young lady is one of the kindest and most deserving young ladies to ever win the High Schooler of The Year Award. At the dance marathon closing ceremonies, it was announced that they raised $1,531,518.24.

(Students hold up $1,531,518.24 dollars that was made last weekend during the UF Dance Marathon.)

There are 11 high schools in our area (Lake, Sumter, Marion, Alachua) who held a mini-marathon to help raise funds for the main event. All 11 of our local school’s raised a combined $205,879.99, with the rest coming from college kids, which came out to over $1.5 million.

(Leesburg High School lifts up the number that they raised for the UF Dance Marathon. $24,450.38 was raised by Leesburg High.)

Ella has over 700 community service hours. She is vice president of her class and is very active in many clubs at Leesburg High School. When she heard that the Key Club was doing a dance marathon to raise funds for children at UF Shands Hospital, she knew that she wanted to participate.

(Ella Prater has over 700 community service hours and is involved with numerous clubs and activites at Leesburg High School.)

Ella’s cousin, Haley, was diagnosed with Leukemia earlier this year, so this fundraiser was near to her heart. With the help of family, friends, and community, Ella was able to raise $5,100 for the children at Shands.

“The best part is when Haley got to attend the Leesburg High School Dance Marathon Event,” Ella says. “Just seeing her there made me want to keep fighting to help make a change. Haley is the strongest person I know and truly an inspiration to our family and our community.”

(Ella Prater left stands with Haley Williams her cousin on the right. Haley has been diagnosed with Luekemia and has been fighting a hard battle.)

As many of you know, Haley Williams has been battling Leukemia. She continues her fight every day, and her mother Lena Williams has been very open about her fight. We encourage you to visit her page, #HaleyStrong.

As for Ella Prater, what a strong and incredible young woman. We are so happy to have such a bright young woman in our community. Congratulations to her family, friends, teachers, and everyone who has impacted her life. We can’t wait to see what she does in the future.

(Photos Provided By Christine Prater)

About the Author: Kyle Coppola

Kyle Coppola

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