Glenwood homecoming 2017 seeks to fulfill wish
Post Independent Correspondent
If community members are interested in learning more, getting involved or volunteering with the Make-A-Wish foundation to benefit kids like Lance, they can visit www.colorado.wish.org. Or to donate during the GSHS Wish Week through Saturday, visit http://site.wish.org/goto/GlenwoodSpringsHigh.
For the first time, the Glenwood Springs High School’s homecoming isn’t just about a good time. This year, GSHS students and the community are raising money to help a struggling 7-year-old boy fulfill a wish.
GSHS students “are at the forefront of leading the way for hosting a ‘Wish Week’ out on the Western Slope,” said Lauren Beede, the Community Development Director at Make-A-Wish Colorado. “We’re really trying to grow support in that area, so we’re really thankful that you guys are helping with the donations because we do serve kiddos in that area.”
During Wish Week, GSHS is featuring 7-year-old Lance. The Grand Junction boy has a nervous system disease and is unable to walk, talk or move on his own. Working with the Make-A-Wish foundation, GSHS is raising money to help grant Lance’s wish of having a therapy dog.
Recently, Luke Gair, a GSHS varsity athlete, broke three lower back transverse process bones in an airborne tackle during the Glenwood versus Harrison football game. Gair was required to stay in a wheelchair for a week, which gave him a firsthand look into the life of someone who is unable to move on their own.
“I really started to understand more how much a blessing each step is,” Luke said. “So when I look at a kid that’s disabled permanently, I see that it’s a really important cause to help kids who don’t have it as easy as all of us.”
The Make-A-Wish plan is to provide 261 wishes to children in Colorado this year through community, school and individual donations. The GSHS Student Council thought of the idea to sponsor a child from Make-A-Wish last year, but because of various factors, it didn’t become a reality until this year.
“We felt like homecoming was a bit selfish when only involving high school,” said Colton Taylor, the GSHS student body president. “We wanted to do a little more and give back to the community for homecoming.”
The student body plans to donate 10 percent of Homecoming ticket sales to Make-A-Wish, as well as putting on a Miracle Minute, in which each class gathers as much money as possible in 60 seconds Wednesday at the GSHS homecoming pep rally. In addition, Key Club is selling bracelets and stars that Make-A-Wish is providing. Community members can also get involved by donating online or at the homecoming football game Friday against Battle Mountain.
“The Wish Experience gives families the hope, strength and joy that they need during a very difficult time in their lives,” said Beede. “We view the Wish Experience as a way for them to have a light at the end of the tunnel and look forward to something so that they can through the medical treatments.”
Most of the children Make-A-Wish Colorado helps are not terminally ill, but the Wish Experience helps to give them what they need to get through the necessary treatments for recovery from their life-threatening condition.
“A lot of Wish families say that the experience works in concert with the medicine to help kids get better,” said Beede. “It really helps kids feel better emotionally and physically.”
So far, Make-A-Wish has received donations from about 150 schools that have raised money through either one-time events or Wish Weeks, similar to that of GSHS. Twenty percent of the total funding for Make-A-Wish Colorado is donated by students.
“People are generous,” said Taylor. “They’re happy to donate and glad that homecoming is finally giving back to the community and having an unselfish cause. Make-A-Wish is a great source to fundraise for.”