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High school students raise funds for Make-a-Wish recipient


Students at Pagosa Springs High School (PSHS) came together earlier this month to help raise money for this year’s Make-A-Wish Colorado recipient, 6-year-old Brielle, who was diagnosed with leukemia last year and whose wish is to go to Hawaii. 

This is the third year PSHS has partnered with the Make-A-Wish Colorado foundation.

On May 7, PSHS students kicked off the Wish Week fundraiser week by holding an all-school assembly to celebrate Brielle.

Students and staff members had the chance to enter a half-court shot competition and handstand competition for $1 dollar per entry, with winners getting recognized on leaderboards.

PSHS student council member Hailey Sams explained in an interview with The SUN that the assembly competitions incorporated Brielle’s interests of basketball and gymnastics.

PSHS student council co-president James Jolley also explained in an interview with The SUN that students first got the idea to participate in the Make-A-Wish program after attending a conference in Denver a few years ago where they heard about the success of the program from other high school students around the state.

“Our goal is to boost morale within our school and kind of build that connection within the community,” Jolley said.

One of the fundraiser events included PSHS partnering with local restaurant, Riff Raff, for a night to have a portion of proceeds donated to Make-A-Wish Colorado.

Some of the other fundraiser events for students included singing karaoke and buying ‘skip the line’ passes during lunch and a field-day carnival for students that took place on Friday, May 10.

Jolley noted that this is one of the more popular spirit weeks for students at PSHS and that it “helps make a connection and touch the heart of the students.”

Jolley explained that the students have a goal to raise $3,500 and that if they do, PSHS Principal Sean O’Donnell will get pied in the face.

“It does a great job of bringing everybody together,” Sams said.

The student council reported than more than $1,000 was raised during Wish Week.

“We had a good week with more student donations than in years past, which tells us that we are creating a school culture in which students are participating in and are knowledgeable about Wish Week,” Jolley wrote.