Twin sisters win Joey Stowell Youth Award

By Anna Yee

June 2, 2012 Updated Jun 2, 2012 at 6:21 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- Kids helping kids. That's what the Backyard Talent Show for St. Jude is all about.

Twelve-year-old twins Claire and Kaitlyn Geier created the event with their cousins.

It started in their backyard five years ago. Now, more than 50 participants and 500 guests pack Morton's Idlewood Park for the annual show.

All proceeds benefit the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

"We've always had a passion for St. Jude, " said Claire Geier," and seeing what they go through, we feel that they deserve to live like a regular child does and do things like go to school and play outside like everybody else does."

That motivation hits close to home.

"First of all, we have a grandma who runs for St. Jude," said Claire, "and then the second year, we had a neighbor who was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, and she's been a really big inspiration."

So far, the Backyard Talent show has raised nearly 40,000 dollars.

Dr. Sharon Weiss, the St. Patrick School Principal, was so impressed, she nominated her students for the award.

"It's just amazing the amount of money that they raised," said Dr. Weiss, "and always with this tremendous passion and spirit and always doing what is great and trying to make a difference in the lives of others."

The Geiers want to keep that spirit alive, after they graduate from St. Patrick School next year and eventually move on.

They're training others to fill their shoes, but for now, the girls hope to see their stage and audience continue to grow.

"I'd love to see it grow really, really big and be on a huge stage one day, and everybody watches on TV," said Kaitlyn Geier. "But, our main goal would be to raise a lot of money and to get more kids involved in St. Jude."

With that kind of ambition, for these kids and others, the sky is the limit.

The 5th Annual Backyard Talent Show for St. Jude will be July 14 at Idlewood Park in Morton.

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/#!/backyardtalentshow or visit the link above.

Tune into WEEK this Sunday, June 3, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. for the Children's Miracle Network Telethon.

You can make a pledge to help out the local Children's Hospital of Illinois.