Xavier Kennedy can’t wait to go to Harry Potter World.
But the 8-year-old Ahwatukee boy has a bigger goal in mind right now: raising enough money to send a less fortunate youngster there.
A second grader at Cerritos Elementary Leadership Academy, Xavier launched his campaign on Facebook last week with a plea.
“It makes me really sad to think about kids who love Harry Potter as much as me but could never afford to go there,” he wrote. “My plan is to raise $900 to send a kid and their parent who couldn’t afford to go to Harry Potter Land on this amazing wizarding adventure.”
The son of Genevieve and Scott Kennedy, Xavier didn’t just pull that figure from a wizard hat.
He worked out a budget and that includes tickets, food, hotel, gas and a souvenir.
Then he came up with “a bunch of ideas” for raising the money, starting with the sale of hand-made magic wands for $20.
“I use cooking chopsticks and use hot glue to make the handle, then I put two coats of paint and add gold, white or brown accent,” Xavier told AFN.
Because each wand takes four or five days to make, Xavier worked for a month on making some before he went public. So far he’s sold more than a dozen.
He’s also planning to sell “a little book full of spells and their definitions that you can fit in your pocket.
“You can use spells from the movie or make up your own. It’s kind of like a dictionary of spells. I have an idea of how to make these but we haven’t started making them yet.”
He said his idea came to him when he first proposed raising money so he and his 4-year-old sister could go.
“My mum promised eventually we would go to Harry Potter land, then I thought about kids who are not as fortunate as me and decided to raise money to send a kid and his parent to Harry Potter land for two days,” he said. “The idea just popped into my head to start raising money to help another kid because I was so sad to think they couldn’t do what my family could afford to do.”
By his estimation, Xavier became a Harry Potter when he was 4 years old.
“I loved to use my imagination and pretend sticks were magic wands,” he said. “By the time I was 4, my parents introduced me to Harry Potter and I started to love it. I have seen all the movies and me and my mum are halfway through the last Harry Potter book.”
He’s also a budding artist. “Even though he’s crazy good at math and science, his absolute favorite part of his week is art,” his mom Kennedy, said.
For the ongoing Kyrene student art show this week, Xavier used watercolors to create a picture of a vase resembling art from the Ming Dynasty, complete with Chinese symbols to represent prosperity.
Xavier and his sister are launching the second stage of their fundraising campaign at 2:40 p.m. Thursday, April 6 and 8-9 a.m. Friday. April 7, at God’s Garden Preschool, 1401 E Liberty Lane, Ahwatukee. His mom is helping them put together a lemonade and a sale of “cookies, cake (to sell slices), Rice Krispies squares and banana bread,” he said.
And if he runs out of wands or baked goods before you can help, don’t worry: Xavier as arranged for online donations at paypal.me/HPFundraiser, “with 100 percent of the profits going toward my goal.”