Saturday, November 5, 2011

Make-A-Wish Monday the Gorge

This whole week has been leading up to the main fundraiser this Monday, November 7th from 5-7 p.m. called "The Gorge". Meaning you "gorge" yourself with food. It costs $5 per person or $20 per family, and the SBOs will give you a meal ticket with a list of all the food available. Each club at the school puts out a table of samples that represent their club or that they just want to serve. You walk up and down the halls and get one little sample from each table. We have taken our family to this event the last couple of years, and it's crazy good. They also have performances in the auditorium going on. We have really enjoyed this event in the past.

I was inspired last year as I watched the Wolfgram family who sponsored their own table of Polynesian food. I told Siale then that I wanted to do a food table this year. I just could have never imagined that it would be for us. What a turn life takes us on:)

Make-A-Wish Friday

Friday was super-hero day. Kira dressed up as wonder woman:) They didn't have an activity because the volleyball team was playing at the state competition. They took an activity bus to the games, and I went for the second game that day. Siale is a middle blocker/hitter on the team. The students were great, and the team won both games that day. I was so happy for them. They will be playing in the semi-final match today at 12:30.

Make-A-Wish Thursday

Thursday, students at Barnett and the high school dressed up in green, Q's favorite color. The activity for this day was the "ManHawk" at 7 p.m. in the auditorium. Six or seven teams of boys performed dance routines under the direction of their coaches (whichever girls wanted to coach them). Almost all the boys from our ward danced on one team or another. A big thanks and congratulations to Weston Rowley, Darren Brackner, Michael Redhouse, and Kyle Tarter. Their dances were hilarious. Some groups had glow sticks, one group had Q-U-I-N-T-O-N written on their under shirts, one group made a Q out of pom-poms, and one group had a heart and Q on their boxers.....My cheeks hurt from smiling so much.

They pretty much packed the house. It was the biggest ManHawk event ever. Over a thousand people were there. They sold out of T-Shirts. They sold out of dog tags. They had a line running out the building and around the corner. We were so touched.

At the end of the competition, they asked the teams to go up on stage; they announced that they had a special guest to present the awards. The teams all started chanting, Q, Q, Q, Q. Quinton came out on stage, and the place erupted. He announced the winners (he did a great job) and the winning team had their pictures taken pointing to Q. Here again, I can't even describe how great it was. What a gift they have given our family. It's like the "wish" is just second prize to all this love and support and confidence boosting the students are doing. The wonderful thing about this event is that it is all driven by the students. The advisor is doing a wonderful job, but she is only backing this service-oriented project that the students are all excited about. I can't say enough wonderful things about the students at SHHS!

Make-A-Wish Wednesday

Wednesday of Make-A-Wish week included "winter day" because Q's favorite season is winter and his favorite animal is a penguin. Kids at the high school and Barnett both dressed in their winter gear. The activity for that day included a lego building competition at lunch at the high school. Quinton and Jeff went over to that. The students were really great, and the winning lego design was a castle. We have pictures on some device, but I don't know where they are!!

Salem Hills High School Make-a-Wish

We are so excited! This week has been the best ever. I can't describe it. Not even a little bit, but I will try. Every year SHHS student body officers put on a "make-a-wish" week. Our neighbor, Siale Vaitohi, happens to be a student body officer. Whoever they were going to use as their "make-a-wish" kid for this year decided not to participate. Siale suggested to her advisor that she read this very blog. Then, the student council read my blog. They all wanted Quinton to be the "make-a-wish" kid.

I referred Q to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. I didn't really think he'd qualify, but he did! The student council invited Quinton up to their school, so they could find out some important facts about him. He came home from that meeting and said, "they're going to make a movie about me!" He was still chill about it, like he is everything else, but he said it with enough bravado to make Jeff and me laugh a little.

Tuesday, November 1st they introduced Quinton to the school in an assembly, which all the students dressed up for. It was the most amazing assembly I've ever been to. They showed his "movie", which portrayed pictures of him, him showing off all his lego ships, his super-hero infused room, him doing some of the exercises he does, him playing guitar, him showing off his scar, and Jeff and I telling parts of his story. They had one girl speak (I can't remember her name!!) who was so awesome who had a wish granted when she was little. Then, they introduced our family to come on stage. YES I was crying because the whole place was standing and cheering. I spoke and told more in depth about Quinton's story. The students were so respectful.

They also had Eric Merkley tell his story, which was really touching. He was a basketball player who thought he had torn a calf muscle. It turned out he had a leg tumor that was going to require amputation. It was when Uintah, the team my brother coaches, came to play Salem that they honored him last year (I just happened to be there -- maybe not a coincidence). He called Q up on stage and had a gift bag that contained a SHHS hat. He told Q that they were inducting him into the "SkyHawk Nest" and gave him the hat. We were sitting on the front row, trying to get Q's attention to tell him to put the hat on because he was just kind of holding it. Finally, he saw us and kind of shook the hat open and put it on his head, and let me tell you, that place erupted into cheers. It was the neatest thing ever!

The SBO President, Becca Newman, called Q on stage. She had a surprise for him. She had contacted Brad Paisley's agent and had gotten a picture and an album cover signed and some guitar pics. What a great girl! That was fantastic.

The student body officers ended the assembly by singing that song from Shrek, "Halelujah, halelujah." Yes, I cried through the whole thing. It was beautiful.

We also did a similar assembly at Barnett in the afternoon. I was scared about changing my talk to fit elementary students, but it was easier than I thought. It went really well too. The kids at Barnett were really receptive and ready to participate in "make a wish" week too.

Q's T-shirts and dog tags went on sale this day also. The T-shirts, inspired by Siale, depict a green Q turned into the green lantern sign, since green is his favorite color.

That night, they showed Thor, Q's favorite movie, at an event at the school. Quinton and Jeff went, and Jeff was so touched that complete strangers were walking around in Q's shirt and dog tags. We just couldn't believe what this meant for us.