Coral Gables High senior Elliot Kutmus washed cars in Miami to raise money to help the elderly in Greece.
“In 15 days, I washed 28 cars and made $496,” he said. He went to Greece for the summer and found an assisted living facility he could help.
He said that in Greece people don’t have the money to support themselves, let alone their 80-year-old mother or 45-year-old child with Down syndrome.
He and the ALF administrators decided on a day of celebration. He visited the butcher shops, bakeries and supermarkets and put together a meal of lamb, mashed potatoes, salad and bread.
“Since they have a little church on the grounds, the institution held a church service in the morning,” he said. “Around noon, patients and families could go in where lunch was served. It changed the overall environment.”
The day of the event, people were smiling.
“The families were happy to see that their loved one was happy,” Kutmus said. “I was ecstatic that a 17-yearold could have such an effect.”
He was in Greece for a couple more weeks so he took on a new project.
“In Europe, they have coins. They don’t have the patience to use this currency,” he said. “I said to myself, that people toss them to the side. I got a tin can, after two weeks in collecting, I raised 250 euros.”
He came back to Miami and bought school supplies for 50 needy children. He worked with former county commissioner Lynda Bell’s office. She had a donation for 60 backpacks so he used the supplies to fill them.
At school, Kutmus is a member of the National Honor Society and Future Business Leaders of America. He’s competed in FBLA competitions in the public speaking category.
He also is the president and founder of the Coral Gables Museum Project.
“We do community service for the museum in the museum and in the community,” he said.
Kutnus speaks three languages — English, Greek and Spanish.
— Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld