Rock Canyon wish week: A sea of blue makes wishes come true
The RCHS Student Council proudly displays the check that will make wishes come true. Mara is in the middle, wearing pink.
By Lisa Nicklanovich; photo courtesy of RCHS STUCO
The entire Rock Canyon High School (RCHS) community united for Wish Week and made wishes come true for eight kids with life-threatening illnesses. The goal was to raise enough money to send ten-year-old Mara on a Disney Cruise. In the opening assembly for Wish Week on February 25, students poured change and dollar bills into buckets for 60 seconds. The “Miracle Minute” of coin-flying craziness raised $8,426.64, more than enough to send Mara and her family on the Disney Cruise.
Mara has a condition called severe combined immunity deficiency and a form of dwarfism. When she was born, her chance of survival was just one percent and she continues to defy the odds. Casey Bergeron, student council president said, “Mara is our rock star.” Ten foot letters spelling “Mara” in the commons and 1800 adoring fans prove her point. Kate Hartline, student council sponsor of Wish Week said, “Our wish kids have made a significant impact on the hearts of RCHS students and they are forever a part of RCHS. It is our honor and privilege to be part of their Make-A-Wish experience.”
RCHS was decorated with light blue banners, balloon arches, streamers, and glitter for Wish Week and students wore blue t-shirts, creating a mass of sea blue. The closing ceremony on March 1 celebrated a week of fundraising that included dining out at restaurants that donated a percentage to Mara’s wish, sports events, and a “penny stall,” which delayed class until teachers counted change students brought in. 178 kids “dared to share their hair” in a head shaving event that granted an entire wish in the process. Most admirably, three girls had their heads shaved and four donated eight inches of hair. Tori Pavillard said, “My goal (in shaving my head) was to honor Mara and all of our wish kids and inspire other people. Plus, I can get ready so much faster in the morning!”
Since 2010, when RCHS joined the Kids for Wish Kids team – a branch of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the school has raised more than $160,000 and granted 26 wishes. RCHS holds the fundraising record for Colorado, and now, most likely the country as this year’s totals are more than $60,000.
Bergeron said, “It’s the week we all look forward to. It’s all about one wish, but the additional wishes are just icing on the cake.” Hartline adds, “Many kids have said Wish Week means more to them than Homecoming. They’re high school kids who care deeply about something that’s not directly benefiting them.”