Updated: Jul 15, 2021
CLEWISTON, Fla.– Annette Blanco made the decision seconds after she heard her name called from the stage.
At her graduation from Clewiston High School, she won her choice of either a new car or $10,000- the prizes were part of a raffle hosted by a local car dealership for students who excelled in school.
Blanco picked the cash, but immediately decided to give half the money away.
“It was really a beautiful thing to see,” said Crystal Drake, a teacher at the school.
Blanco wanted to give the money to the family of Julian Avalo, her classmate who had died in a car accident the day prior.
“It was just in my heart that I wanted to help them,” Blanco said.
So moved by the display of selflessness, Drake decided to raise money for Blanco, who has plans to attend college in the fall.
“I know that she has a need, too, and that’s what made it extra special for me,” Drake said.
Within days, the teacher raised more than $7,000 for Blanco.
“Other people gave because she gave,” Drake said. “It will have a domino effect, which will bring more meaning to [Julian]’s life.”