Student will take a plunge to help disabled
By Karissa Minn
SALISBURY – A West Rowan High School senior is getting dunked for charity this weekend.
Dani Burris, who just turned 18 on Thursday, plans to sit in a dunk tank from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday on Jake Alexander Boulevard in front of High Rock Community Church.
She’s raising money for the Civitan Research Center in Alabama, which works to treat and cure childhood neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism, cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis.
The price will be $5 for three balls to throw at a target. Over eight hours, each successful hit will send Burris plunging into the water below her.
According to Accuweather.com, Saturday’s high will be 69 degrees. That’s a comfortable temperature when dry, but it might get chilly when Burris is dripping wet.
“We’re thinking about getting me a wetsuit so I won’t be as cold,” she said. “But if I freeze all day Saturday, it will be worth it if I can make a difference.”
Over the summer, Burris was elected international director for Junior Civitan International. She also serves as the group’s public relations coordinator for North Carolina’s western district.
Burris camped out on the roof of Mario’s Diner last November in Salisbury, with the goal of bringing in $2,500 for developmental disability research.
“I ended up raising over $3,800, so that was pretty cool,” she said.
This year, her goal is to raise $7,000, and the dunk tank is just part of that.
Burris is participating in two Junior Civitan fundraisers in Canada called Sno-Do, which is a cross-country snowmobile event, and Dance-a-Thon.
She’s thinking of doing at least one more fundraiser on her own, and it might involve another roof, she said.
As with last year’s stunt, the idea for a dunk tank came from Burris’ mom, Vicki.
“She seems to come up with all these crazy ideas,” Burris said. “And I’m definitely down for it.”
Signs will be placed around the area encouraging passersby to stop and “Dunk Dani” for a good cause. Burris said she has also invited some local political candidates to come out and talk to people.
“Especially since today’s my 18th birthday, it’s a little crazy to spend the weekend doing something to help people,” she said. “I just want to raise the money.”
Contact reporter Karissa Minn at 704-797-4222.
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