Mountain Crest students dressed as Harry Potter characters gather around eight-year-old Mckay their Make-A-Wish guest.
HYRUM – Mountain High School students are learning more than reading and writing and arithmetic; they also are learning a valuable lesson of blessing someone who needs help.
The Mustang student body is working with Make-A-Wish to help Mckay, a Cache Valley resident who recently had a kidney transplant. Make-A-Wish doesn’t give out last names or other personal data.
Marissa Hancock, a member of the Mountain Crest student executive council, was the force behind the Make-A-Wish effort.
“This summer, some of the student council went to a leadership conference at Utah State University. They offered several workshops and I thought the Make-A-Wish sounded interesting,” Hancock said. “We went to that workshop, a representative said they would give us the name of a kid that would be the face of the fundraising campaign if we signed up.”
McKay is an eight-year-old boy who suffers from kidney disease and underwent a transplant received from his mother, recently. And because he lived close to the school he became their candidate.
“We met with him and his parents when they came to the school,” she said. “Wish Week began Tuesday, we had an assembly then we had a bake sale before school on Wednesday.”
They had pay to play Mario Kart, volleyball and basketball during lunch, flex and after school during the rest of the week. Collection jars for spare change were placed in each classroom.
On Saturday, they held a 5K run in Wellsville and a Panda Express fundraiser took place that evening. All the proceeds from the dinner went to Make-A-Wish.
“We received a $2,500 match from the Henry W. and Leslie M. Eskuche Foundation,” Hancock said. “We met our original goal so now we need to up our goal.”
Miles Crowshaw, also part of the Mountain Crest Exec Council, said he thought the cause was good and students have stepped up and supported their fundraising efforts.
“We have reached our goal of $5,000 and we need some incentive to keep things going,” he said. “After I meet with Marissa we will probably reset it and raise it a few thousand dollars.”
When Hancock and Crowshaw met they raised the goal to $8,000.
“McKay is great kid and it feels good to make someone else happy,” Crowshaw said. “The student body is great. So far we’ve had good participation all of our activities.”
He and Hancock are hoping the rest of the planned activities will see continued support.
McKenzie Weisler, development manager for Male-A-Wish, said campaigns in high schools are really successful at fundraising.
“We have programs that specifically work well in the high schools,” she said. “This may be the first time we have had one at Mountain Crest, but we have had other schools in the valley help with our Make-A-Wish.”
Right now, they have about 30 schools in Utah making wishes happen for children. McKay hasn’t made his wish known yet.
“McKay hasn’t decided on his wish yet,” Weisler said. “He has talked about going to Harry Potter World or being Mr. Beast and giving away toys at Primary Children’s Hospital.”
Mr. Beast is an internet sensation who gives money away to help people. When McKay decides what he wants to do, Make-A-Wish will make it happen.
“We are grateful for any amount raised by Mountain Crest students,” she said. “I think this is the first time Mountain Crest has raised money for us.”