Cleft for a Cause Earns LA Association of Student Councils Distinction

Archbishop Hannan High School student Isabella Summersgill presented a check to the Children’s Hospital Cleft/Craniofacial Team during a special presentation on May 15 at Children’s Hospital. Cleft for a Cause, a charitable endeavor started by Summersgill, was chosen by the Louisiana Association of Student Councils (LASC) as the 2016-2017 state charity.

Throughout the school year, student councils from high schools all over Louisiana held fundraisers for Cleft for a Cause. Summersgill and her sister Hannah, made a presentation to the president of LASC to receive this distinction. The association picks a different charity each year, and this was the first ever student-run charity to be chosen.

Children's Hospital will receive a very generous donation of $73,000, which will be used to enhance medical and surgical care to children with cleft and craniofacial deformities. The money was raised through individual efforts by schools throughout the state. At Archbishop Hannan High School, Summersgill organized a 5K fun run for the school and the community.  

“To me, what differentiates us is the fact that the cause has affected both me and my sister so much,” said Summersgill. “I was born with a cleft, and had doctors’ visits, surgeries etc. However, my sister provided so much of my support system throughout my younger years, and especially today.”

“Since we were fortunate enough to be in a good situation where my parents could pay for my surgeries, we decided to make a difference for those who could not,” continued Summersgill. “This entire journey has been nothing short of a dream come true, and I would not trade these experiences for the world.”

Michael Moses, MD, founded the Cleft and Craniofacial Team in 1986.  With 20 pediatric specialists, the Children’s Hospital Cleft and Craniofacial Team is the largest multidisciplinary group in the Gulf South, and is approved through the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association.