(Courtesy of Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland)

AUGUSTA — As part of the school’s annual auction this spring, Alice Turney, a second grader at St. Michael School, earned the right to be “principal for a day,” and she used the opportunity to raise money for an important cause close to her heart.

“Principal Turney granted a dress down day for the entire school with a $2 minimum donation from each student for an organization in Lithuania that supports children with autism,” said Kevin Cullen, the “other” principal at St. Michael School.

The organization, Lietaus vaikai (“Children of the Rain”), offers therapy, classes, trips, and activities for those with autism and also provides training for parents and guardians.

“Alice has an autistic cousin in Lithuania who is supported and encouraged by this organization,” said Cullen.

During her day as principal, Alice spoke to each classroom about the organization and how grateful they are for support. 

“Today, her cousin is 20, living in a student dorm of her own, and attending a trade school where she will soon graduate as a chef,” said Cullen.

During the dress down day, students at St. Michael donated nearly $700 to the organization.