Alaine making her 16th sweet for charity by fundraising for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospice

Alaine Capalad, 15, who is not having a 16th birthday party, but instead will be doing a fundraiser

Alaine Capalad, 15, who is not having a 16th birthday party, but instead will be doing a fundraiser in aid of EACH. Alaine and her mum, Lani Betts. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

It's a landmark birthday for any teenager, and one of the ones that some look forward to the most.

However, for Alaine Capalad, her 16th birthday will prove an opportunity to do something for those in need.

The 15-year-old, of Brasier Road, Mile Cross, Norwich, has made the decision to give up having a 16th birthday party to organise a charity event for East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH).

When Miss Capalad celebrates on February 20, two days before her birthday, some of the usual party treats will be there – cakes and cookies, for example; however, these will then be sold off to guests, to raise funds for EACH's nook appeal.

While at other Sweet 16 celeberations you may expect to see glasses of non-alcoholic bubbly, balloons and fireworks, this event will have a tombola, collection buckets and a jumble sale.

Miss Capalad, a pupil at Hellesdon High School, said: 'I'm not really into parties, so I decided that helping a charity is much more important. I could have a party any time, so this is much more use.

'I won't regret this decision at all, there will be other parties, and there will be other birthdays, but this has a larger meaning.'

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The inspiration initially came from Miss Capalad's involvement in the Miss Teen Great Britain competition, of which she is a semi-finalist.

She said: 'It was during the summer holidays that I decided to enter the competition, and I saw that EACH was one of the charities it supports. I looked it up and saw what incredible work it was doing, so was inspired to do something myself to help.

'My friends have all been very supportive of my decision, but are surprised too. Lots of them suggesting I have a party, too, but I want to put all my focus on fundraising.'

Miss Capalad's mother, Leilani Betts, said: 'When Alaine told me she wanted to do something for charity, rather than have a party, I was really proud of her.

'Where I am from, the Philippines, 16 is one of the big birthdays and I love organising parties too, so I've been trying to persuade her to organise one. However, she is insistent that she wants to focus on other people.'

Miss Capalad, who moved to the United Kingdom at the age of five, added: 'A party is just a party, this will be much more memorable and, more importantly, will help other people.'

The event takes place on February 20, at the Phoenix Centre, Mile Cross, from 10am.

If you are interested in donating prizes for the tombola, contact Mrs Betts on leilanibetts@yahoo.com.

Are you organising a charity event? Email newsdesk@archant.co.uk