High school students across the Cherry Creek School District have demonstrated compassion, commitment and amazing generosity during “Wish Weeks” that have raised more than $60,000 to help senior citizens, children battling life-threatening illnesses and families in third world countries.
“The mission of the Cherry Creek School District is ‘To inspire every student to think, to learn, to achieve, to care,’” said Superintendent Mary Chesley. “Clearly, our students understand how important it is to do what they can for those in need and to be part of a caring community.”
Students at Eaglecrest High School kicked things off last fall, with their “10K in 10Days” Wish Week, benefitting Project Mercy and the The Cunningham Foundation. Those organizations help families in Ethiopia become self-sufficient by providing food, medical care and other basic necessities. They also help children obtain an education by building new schools, purchasing school supplies and hiring well-trained teachers.
EHS students and clubs sponsored a wide variety of activities, including a teacher pie smash, Class Coin Wars, a Second Chance sale, a dinner at Parkway Grill, a school-wide Miracle Minute, Poetry Grams, Japanese Jenga and more.
In late January, Cherokee Trail High School students kicked off their Wish Week, which raised $10,000 for Joseph, a child with kidney problems, who wants to go to Disneyland. Students sold Wish Kits, consisting of a t-shirt, a wrist band and a star, which was placed on the Wish Wall and later turned in to a star collage. Student Leadership held restaurant nights, collected money during “miracle wish minutes” at the basketball games and pep rally, sponsored a Dodge ball Tournament and Club Olympics and did lots of fun lunchtime activities (snow cones, root beer floats, musical chairs, etc.). Individual students also made major contributions, including Samie Sodden, who collected nearly $2,000 in donations from local businesses, and Devin Bell, who worked with the students he tutors at Pine Ridge Elementary to raise over $650.
Just a couple of weeks later, Smoky Hill High School students raised $15,000 for the Make A Wish Foundation, to grant the wish of Elijah, a five-year-old kindergartener who is battling brain cancer, and wants to go to Hawaii to see a luau. Elijah was the guest of honor at Smoky Hill’s Make A Wish Pep Assembly, which featured a Hawaiian theme and the school’s own Polynesian student dancers. In addition to the assembly, the SHHS Student Government sponsored a Trivia Bowl, Battle of the Bands, a Miracle Minute, and a Mr. Smoky Hill competition as fundraisers throughout the week.
At the end of February, Overland High School’s Winterfest Week took on new meaning as students exceeded their goal of $5,000 and raised more than $6,600 to grant the wish of three-year-old Benjamin, who is battling a cancer called neuroblastoma, but wants to go to Disney World with his family.
Overland students and staff members enjoyed a Peach Fuzz volleyball game and an O-Zone student vs. teacher basketball game. Penny Wars were held during lunch periods, and Wishing Stars were sold. All of the proceeds from ticket sales for the dance were added to the growing fund for Benjamin. The week wrapped up with a special assembly, where students made a video for Benjamin. They waved Mickey Mouse faces and chanted “Benjamin” to show him how much they care about him.
“Throughout the course of the week, a new spirit arose in the halls of Overland High School; a spirit of giving and oneness,” said OHS senior Tumaini Mporampora. “We talk about the amazing difference that we made in Benjamin’s life, but he truly made more of an impact on our school.”
Students at Cherry Creek High School held their Third Annual Wish Week in March. Their goal was to raise $10,000 to send 11-year old Haley on a Disney Cruise through the Make-a-Wish Foundation, and to send 69-year old Mr. Thomson on a trip to visit his family in Minnesota through Jeremy Bloom’s Wish of a Lifetime Foundation. But when all was said and done, more than $23,000 had been contributed!
Grandview High School will hold its Wish Week in May. All schools in the Cherry Creek School District offer community service opportunities throughout the school year. One of the 12 core values of the Cherry Creek School District is to foster a desire for lifelong learning, achievement and service to others.