'Kartwheels for Kali' Fundraiser Kicks Off Tonight in Benton

BENTON, AR -- A fundraising event for a 12-year-old girl recovering from parasitic meningitis kicks off Wednesday night.

"Kartwheels for Kali" starts at 5:30 p.m. at Salem Elementary School in Benton.

Kali Hardig has been in the hospital since July, when she contracted parasitic meningitis, an infection that causes the destruction of brain tissue.

She is only the third person to survive the disease, and her mom says she is even starting to eat some of her favorite foods.

"She's eating the easy Mac. She says that is the best thing she has ever tasted," Kali's mom, Tracy says. "'Mom, go to Walmart and get the easy Mac Mac and Cheese. That tastes like real food rather than this hospital food.'"

KARK 4's very own Hubert Tate inspired Kartwheels for Kali after he promised to do a cartwheel to celebrate her improvement.

A $5 donation will get you a Kartwheel pass, and there will be games, raffles and a silent auction. A booth will be setup to make KardsForKali, pizza for $1 per slice, KupcakesForKali and KookiesForKali.

A group celebrated Kali's success Tuesday night at the Benton Fair, as many of her family and friends, calling themselves "Kali's Krew," sponsored a float during the parade.

Kali is continuing her recovery Wednesday morning at Arkansas Children's Hospital.

To see members of the KARK 4 News team doing Kartwheels for Kali, watch the embedded video.

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