2019 Ace’s Heart Award Recipients Caroline Bavis and Tessa Smith

Each year we recognize and honor an individual that has gone out of their way and above-and-beyond to help the foundation.  This year we wish to recognize two young

women who are seniors in high school and have run Christmas toy drives for Ace’s Place for the past four years.  They are Caroline Bavis (Mark Bavis’s niece) and her friend, Tessa Smith. Caroline and Tessa have come to Face Off for Ace over the past four years as volunteers to sell keys for the raffle.  

Both Caroline and Tessa will be graduating from high school this spring and going off to college in the fall.  

After attending Face Off for Ace for the first time during their freshman year, Caroline contacted me to suggest that she and Tessa organize a toy drive to provide Christmas presents for kids through Ace’s Place.

Most people want to donate toys for small children, but Caroline and Tessa correctly realized the need for gifts for teenagers who are often overlooked in the pediatric setting.

So beginning in 2015 they went out to family and friends to make an appeal. In the first year they raised $1,800 to buy toys, in 2016 they raised $2,000, in 2017 they upped it to $3,500, and this past Christmas they raised an amazing $7,000 for Ace’s Place in cash donations and donated items including three iPads, two iPad Mini’s, iPod’s and two Portals.  That’s a substantial amount of money for high schoolers to raise but even more impressive is the learning curve that they traveled in increasing donations annually.

With the money they bought teen and “tween” appropriate gifts and delivered them personally to inpatient kids. It’s a wonderful thing to see them going from room to room, greeting hospitalized kids and bringing joy to teens who are ill around the holidays. We are all very grateful to Caroline and Tessa and wish them all the best as they go off to college in the fall.