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Lehi girls dig in and get to work for their teachers



The sixth annual giving festival, Sundae Monday, is coming on Monday, September 9, from 3 – 7 p.m. at Cranberry Farms Neighborhood Park, 2491 West 1400 North. Brookelynn and Hailey Canen, students at Liberty Hills Elementary in Lehi, started the fundraiser to help their teachers get all the supplies they need during the school year. In 2018 the Sundae Monday giving festival raised $27,538 between local donations and Microsoft matching every dollar donated. One hundred percent of that amount went to teachers at Northpoint Elementary. This year the Canen girls attend the new Liberty Hills Elementary, so they’re raising funds for both their old and new schools.

“At first I was scared to talk to people. I can be shy sometimes,” said Hailey Canen, a third-grader at Liberty Hills Elementary. Brookelynn and Hailey start getting ready for Sundae Monday months in advance, approaching local businesses and asking for donations. “All we have to do is ask. People are really generous and kind,” said fifth-grader Brookelynn Canen. The Canen sisters, with help from their parents Nathan and Karen, have built relationships with many local businesses, always coming back and thanking them in person for their help. “It’s such a great thing for my children to see there is so much good everywhere we go. People are kind even when they’re not able to help,” said Karen Canen.

Every year Sundae Monday is a big party with local restaurants like Chick-fil-A and Summit Pizza donating food and magician Jason Fun, musician Nate Featherstone, and balloon artist Jeremy Telford donating their talents to entertain everyone. Even the park fees are donated so that the event has a venue off school grounds. Brookelynn and Hailey still spend hours getting waffle cones, donated to them by Joy Cone Company, ready for their famous sundaes and they use every inch of freezer space at their home and neighbors’ homes to store ice cream. 

The Sundae Monday event is free, but attendees are encouraged to give what they can to the teachers at Liberty Hills and North Point Elementary. Nathan Canen works for Microsoft, and through their employee giving program, Microsoft will match up to $15,000 of every dollar the Canen’s raise with Sundae Monday. This year the Alpine School District Foundation will match up to $5000 for the library at Liberty Hills as well, making it possible to triple the money for the library. “I wish people knew how much our teachers are doing and how much they’re paying for out of their own pockets,” said Karen Canen. 

“We love all our teachers. They definitely deserve more than they get,” said Brookelynn Canen.

“This is our family’s personal way of joining with you to make a difference for our students and teachers,” Nathen Canen explained. Sundae Monday is not affiliated with the schools or the PTA, it is a private fundraiser by the Canen family. To make donations, send money to the Venmo account @SundaeMonday or the PayPal account, or come to Sundae Monday to enjoy the party and donate in person.

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