Pay It Forward: 10-year-old Maryland girl's pie-face challenge helps save gorillas

- A 10-year-old Maryland girl is helping to spark a pie-face challenge that is raising money to help save mountain gorillas.

Addy Barrett began Gorilla Heroes when she was in first grade as a way to help the critically endangered mountain gorillas in Africa.

"I got a big piece of cardboard and I was like I'm going to make this big poster that says save the gorillas," Addy recalled.

Addy's mom Sarah, took a picture, posted it on social media, and it's been bananas ever since.

"Just looking back, I'm like wow, I was in first grade and now three years later I'm on television,” Addy said.

Addy’s site has raised over $1,000 after she modeled her pie-in-the-face challenge after the ALS Bucket Challenge. For each $5 donation or T-shirt purchase made, Addy takes a pie in the face for the team.

"For a 10-year-old to be that knowledgeable that passionate about it when other kids are playing video games or their attention span lasts for five seconds, she's been at this for three years. Raising money, really committed and really passionate about it," said David Singer, a Dian Fossey Board Member.

Singer traveled to Rwanda to see the mountain gorillas up close and gave a keepsake he got on the trip to Addy.

"When you climb the mountain to get up there it's muddy, it's hot and then it gets cool so you get a walking stick. I grabbed a walking stick, intricately carved beautifully with a gorilla on top and I used it to climb up the mountain and down where the gorillas were. And when I saw what Addy was doing I thought I’d like for her to have it,” Singer said.

"I'm trying to follow dreams and I hope it takes me someplace cool,” Addy said. “I hope that I get to use it one day."

As part of her fundraising effort, Addy is holding a gala on Saturday, June 23 at A Bit Better Farm at 3400 Damascus Road in Brookville, Maryland. You can find more information on her Facebook page here.

FOX 5 and Easterns Automotive Group teamed up to help Pay It Forward to Addy and Gorilla Heroes. Easterns Automotive Group donated $500 to the gala, T-shirts and a gift card to the family’s favorite restaurant Sakura! Joel Bassam of Easterns Automotive Group and FOX 5’s Allison Seymour even too a pie to the face on live TV for Addy and Gorilla Heroes.

If you know someone who should be featured on Pay It Forward, you can nominate them here. In your email, be sure to include who they are and why they deserve to be recognized.

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