The student body officers at Logan High School recently rallied their classmates and the community to help raise $8,800 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The students planned a full week of activities to bring awareness to the foundation and help grant the wish of five year old Logan boy Aden who is fighting A.L.L. Leukemia, a life-threatening medical condition.
“We had an entire week devoted to Make-A-Wish fundraising for Aden,” says Logan High junior and student body officer Alex Lambert.
The idea to connect Logan High students with the Make-A-Wish foundation was born last summer when student body president Matthew Fife attended a leadership conference in July. He learned about the foundation there and began talking with other student leaders at the conference about what they had done at their schools to raise money for worthy causes.
Make-A-Wish Utah CEO Jared Perry says it was a great experience teaming up with Logan High School and local businesses in Cache Valley.
“They weren’t raising money for a specific child, like Aden,” Perry explains, “but it was Aden’s wish they were joining in on. Aden is going to go on his Wish in June, and his Wish is to go to Disney World. He’s going to have a fantastic, fun experience there.
“But it’s these students who get to interact with him and understand what he’s going through, what his trials are, what his hopes and aspirations are as well. They are able to share that by raising money for wishes that will take place right here in Cache Valley.”
Planning among the students and their student advisor Sonia Cardena began in December. The students also appeared on <a href=”http://610kvnu.com/assets/podcaster/324/2016_02_16_324_42018_2867.mp3″ target=”_blank”>KVNU’s For the People program</a> in February to promote their efforts. Between February 15-19 they pulled off a full week of activities and events to raise money. It included an indoor picnic catered by several local restaurants, a basketball game between Logan High Cheerleaders and the school’s drill team (one of the largest fundraising events of the week), and an all-night party at Logan High.
“That was also very successful in raising money,” says Lambert. “We had ping pong, movies, karaoke, it was a lot of fun.”
“These students are imaginative,” adds Perry. “We ask a Wish child to wish big, think big, use your imagination. We saw that same creativity here…They were entrepreneurial.
“They showed passion and that’s what’s at the heart of what they did. I saw passion that they were going to raise as much money as they could for kids right here in their own community.”
Besides the efforts of the Logan High students, another organization in the valley was simultaneously raising funds for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Andrea McCulloch, owner of Milieu Design, had started <a href=”http://site.wish.org/site/TR/FriendsandFamily/Make-A-WishUtah?team_id=5200&pg=team&fr_id=1618″ target=”_blank”>raising money for the organization</a> in December. She hosted a Valentine’s Sweetheart dinner at Herm’s Inn as a fundraiser and there learned about the efforts that Logan High students were undertaking.
“We started connecting and I reached out to Sonia and I said ‘I love what you’re doing, here’s what we’re doing.’ Our goal is to create awareness throughout the community. What a better team member to have than the population of Logan High.”
McCulloch says she is actively planning with other advocates in the community so the momentum for this organization doesn’t stall.
“The goal is not for this to be once and done,” she says, “but to create activities and opportunities that are consecutive, that keep going and teach us how to come together to make great things happen.”
Perry says his organization truly appreciates what the community has done recently and says there will be other opportunities to help in the future.
“We’ve got a number of things we have wanted to do for a while,” he explains. “We’ve really seen some amazing individuals and businesses step up and help Make-A-Wish organization and we can’t thank them enough.”
For more information about the Make-A-Wish foundation, visit <a href=”http://utah.wish.org/” target=”_blank”>Utah.wish.org</a>.