Zach Brunner, age 7, gave up getting birthday gifts the past two years so that the money that would be spent on them would go instead to help Lassen Volcanic National Park.
For that inspiring act of unselfish philanthropy the Los Altos, Calif. youth has been appointed to the board of directors of the Lassen Park Foundation (LPF). Chairman John Koeberer said the LPF board was touched by Zach’s generosity, but also his “passion for Lassen.”
Koeberer described the appointment as real, with the seven-year-old to be listed on the LPF board, with an open invitation “to attend any board meeting or foundation function that he wishes. We are particularly interested in hearing his thoughts on things we can do to make the park experience better for kids, to better reach at-risk children with our summer youth camping program, and how what we do to help Lassen Volcanic can be improved,” said Koeberer.
With this year’s donation, Brunner wrote, “Dear Lassen Park Rangers, At my birthday party, I raised $255 for the park. I hope you can use it to finish the trail to the top of the volcano. I hope I can visit Lassen, Manzanita Lake and Crags Lake this summer!”
Lassen Volcanic National Park Superintendent Darlene Koontz said, “It is extremely heartwarming to see a child so moved by the national park that he would give up his birthday presents to help with its preservation. It was an extraordinary act, by an extraordinary boy.” Koontz continued, “Lassen Volcanic is in the process of converting its Crags Campground for use by youth groups. We’ll be asking Director Brunner to tell us what he thinks of our plans. I look forward to hearing his wise counsel.”
Lassen Volcanic National Park is located in northeast California, approximately 40 miles east of Redding. Founded in 1916, Lassen Volcanic contains all four of the world’s types of volcanoes, including active Lassen Peak and many geothermal sites. The Lassen Park Foundation is a non-profit philanthropic organization that supports Lassen Volcanic National Park. More about them is found at www.nps.gov/lavo and www.lassenparkfoundation.org.