Nell Hoyes, 94, met 3-year-old Tony Reutlinger for the first time Friday morning. She had already raised $1,100 in his name.
Earlier this month, Hoyes sold enough loaves of bread and plates of cookies to raise nearly $800 for Children’s Mercy Hospital. Additional contributions brought the donation to $1,100.
Hoyes said she wanted to donate to Children’s Mercy because of Jennifer Reutlinger, the director of nursing at Delaware Highlands Assisted Living, and her adopted son, Tony.
Tony was born into foster care and had open heart surgery at Children’s Mercy when he was 12 days old, Reutlinger said. She and her husband adopted him when he was 2, and Reutlinger said Hoyes was an encouragement to her during the adoption process.
“She really is everyone’s grandmother,” Reutlinger said. “I can’t believe she raised this money by herself and wanted to donate it in Tony’s name. She’s the most selfless person I know.”
Hoyes said she enjoys holding bake sale fundraisers in the main lobby of Delaware Highlands, an assisted living community for low-income and moderate-income senior adults, where she moved four years ago.
“I do love to bake, but I want to do something to benefit someone else,” Hoyes said.
Because Children’s Mercy is a nonprofit, fundraising from the community is important to the life of the hospital, said Megan Stock, the hospital manager of philanthropic community engagement. Stock visited Hoyes on Friday morning to accept the donation on behalf of Children’s Mercy.
“This donation is a little more unique because it is an elderly individual doing it not for her child, but for another family that has touched her life,” Stock said. “These are the kind of stories that show what a generous community we have here.”
Hoyes said she likes to sell traditional cookies and pies at her fundraisers, but she experiments with new recipes.
“I make all kinds of bread that people have never heard of before, like green tomato and pork-and-beans breads,” she said. “Have you ever tried potato chip cookies? I know they sound different, but they sure are good.”