John Weldon Students Synergize to “Make-A-Wish” Come True

Posted on 04/16/2018
Student Leadership group presenting check to Make-A-Wish Foundation

John Weldon Elementary (JWE) students and staff have made the wish of a 7-year-old boy come true. Students, staff, and the community raised money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, to fulfill a wish for a child named JW. What was his wish? The same as many other children; to go to Disney World/Legoland!

JWJW is battling Stage 4 Neuroblastoma, a very rare type of cancerous tumor that affects children. After JW was diagnosed at age 3, he went through a year-long treatment protocol. He was in remission for over 16 months before he relapsed in July 2016. He is currently undergoing treatment at Children’s Hospital.

Students raised money by donating money to participate in special spirit days, as well as participating in a very competitive penny war. Earlier this semester, students spent a week collecting pennies, which counted positively toward the grade level total. Grade levels battled by “sabotaging” each other by donating silver coins, which counted negatively against grade level totals. The more the grade levels battled, the more the total amount of donations continued to increase. The grade level teams synergized and thought strategically about where to place their money in order to climb their way to the top and ensure a victory. In the end, first grade was victorious, taking first place in the penny war and earning a popcorn and juice party. However, it was really a win-win victory: students received the joy of giving back to their community, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation received the funds to make another wish come true.

“I’m amazed at all of the hard work the students put in to grant JW’s wish,” said Make-A-Wish Development Manager Alisha Abbot. “It’s because of them and their community that we’re able to make his wish come to life.”

JWE students enjoyed the friendly competition, but they were also excited to be working for such a worthy cause. “It feels good helping someone in the community,” said first-grader Connor Smude. “Hopefully, his trip to Disney gave him a break and helped him feel better.”

Exceeding their $5,000 goal by $1,400 allowed the school to grant not only JW’s wish, but also provide some assistance to a John Weldon family in need. The additional money was donated to a family with significant medical and financial needs.

“We are proud of our students and staff for their teamwork and for giving generously to such a worthy cause,” said Assistant Principal Joe Shaw. “Because of their dedication and kind hearts, another wish was granted and a John Weldon family has been helped.”




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