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Sixth-grader making keychains to raise money for victims of Perry school shooting

By Ophelie Jacobson

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    PERRY, Iowa (KCCI) — A 12-year-old girl is using her craft skills to raise money for the victims of the Perry school shooting and their families.

Addison Wilson, a sixth-grade student at St. Patrick’s Catholic School in Perry, is selling keychains for $5 each and donating the money she collects to those affected by the deadly Jan. 4 shooting at Perry High School.

“They can put them on keys, they can put them on a purse, in a car — anywhere,” Addison said.

She said she’s raised $1,500 so far and has sold close to 200 keychains. People have simply donated money to her cause as well.

There are four keychain designs she makes. One pays tribute to her close friend, Ahmir Joliff. He was the sixth-grade student who was killed in the shooting.

“I miss the morning fist-bumps and seeing him,” Addison said when asked what she misses the most about her friend.

Another keychain remembers Perry High School Principal Dan Marburger. Marburger was injured on the day of the shooting and died in a hospital 10 days later.

Ashlee McIlhon, Addison’s mother, said Marburger was her principal when she went to Perry High School. She remembers him as being a great man.

McIlhon has been helping her daughter make the key chains. Other keychain designs say “Perry Strong” and “Bluejays.”

“We’re very proud,” she said. “She’s doing a good deed.”

Addison said she hopes her key chains will remind people of what strings Perry together.

“We are a very strong community, and we really care about each other,” she said.

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