Most children are eager to open their birthday gifts to see what new gadget or game they have received. For the past two years, this 10-year-old doesn't open gifts.
"In lieu of presents, Gracie McCarl is collecting non-perishable items for the Milford Food Bank," her birthday invitation reads.
Giving back is what brings her happiness. She enthsuiastically had 11 inches of her hair cut off last year to give to Locks of Love, an agency that makes wigs for cancer patients.
For the past three holidays, she wasn't worried about what trimmings were on her plate for Thanksgiving. Instead, she'd rather fix up turkeys with all the fixings at the Christian Coalition in New Haven for the poor.
She was recognized for her generosity at The 2010 Mayor Youth Awards Ceremony, where the mayor recognizes outstanding youth in our community.
When she is not busy helping others or being involved with Autism Speaks, she enjoys ballet, playing the flute, sledding and gymnastics, which she has been involved with for seven years.
Grace also favors the color violet and has a fondness for lady bugs.
She enjoys drama and has been in productions such as "King Kong," "Superheroes," "Shrek" and "Stuart Little."
Grace absolutely loves to cook and duplicates recipes she watches with her family on the Food Network.
"One of my favorite things to make is a lemon butter sauce you put over pasta, chicken or steak," said Grace as she poured some of her homemade lemonade concoction.
As a fifth-grade student, she enjoys geography and math.
Grace is particularly fond of art and spends her time sketching and drawing. Her art was featured at the this past year.
When Grace takes a break from cooking and dining on lobster rolls and sushi, you can find her reading stories by author Judy Blume, or comic books.
This summer Grace is also keeping busy as a junior Girl Scout, and has enrolled in a cooking class at and a basketball camp. Grace began her Girl Scout career when she was just a Daisy in kindergarten.
If you know of a great kid who is worthy of the "Milford Patch Whiz Kid" honor please email Editor Denise Buffa at email@example.com