GAITHERSBURG – Six-year-old Cavanaugh Bell, a homeschooled Gaithersburg resident, is spearheading an effort to improve life for his fellow youth.
Bell came to Gaithersburg City Hall Tuesday to ask Mayor Jud Ashman and the City Council to dedicate February 21 Bullying Awareness Day in honor of Gabriel Taye, an Ohio child who committed suicide by hanging in January of 2017.
“February 21 would have been Gabriel Taye’s eleventh birthday,” Bell said in his testimony. “Gabriel was a friendly and kind eight-year-old who was bullied and tragically took his own life. So, I want February 21st to be Bullying Awareness Day in his honor. I want Gaithersburg to be a city that his quick to help but not to judge. I hope that on February 21st we will pause and give positivity to each other.”
Ashman thanked Bell for testifying and said that he would discuss the dedication with city staff.
Bell has organized a nonprofit called Cool & Dope (Considering Others’ Obstacles in Life & Dish Out Positive Energy.) The group originated when Bell, whose title with Cool & Dope is “Chief Positive Creator” participated in the January 2017 Women’s March in Washington, D.C. with his mother, Llacey Simmons, and saw the messages of positivity and support shared by their fellow marchers. Cool & Dope organizes monthly campaigns to benefit children in need. For January, Cool & Dope collected over 300 cards for sick children, which Bell will deliver to the Children’s Inn at NIH at the end of the month. In February, Cool & Dope will raise money for “You’re Cool Bags,” to be given to local school counsellors to distribute to victims of bullying.
“He’s a handful, but he wanted to do this and so I’m here to support him,” Simmons said.
More information can be found at www.coolanddope.com