Branham Makes a Wish at Second Annual Rally

By Zack Messick

On Friday December 14, 2012, the Branham High School Leadership class hosted the second annual Make-a-Wish Rally. Set in the school gymnasium, the event was organized to help the Branham Community give back to those in need and to grant their wishes.

The Make-a-Wish process is long lasting, and begins sometime in early October, as students write down the one thing that they desire the most. The Leadership class then takes the responsibility to grant as many wishes as possible and begins the task of finding sponsors and donations in order to make the Branham community’s dreams come true. The rally focused the more significant wishes that struck an emotional impact on the audience. One of the key motives of the rally is to create a sense of awareness of the obstacles that students are currently facing. One of the more emotional moments of the rally focused on Branham Student, Kelsie Carlisle. Carlisle has faced many struggles in the past year with both of her parents unemployed. Her wish was for her family to not worry as much about money and to recover from the experience. In order to make this happen, the Leadership Class presented her with a Christmas tree surrounded by gifts, dinner for her family, an envelope of cash, and a shopping spree.

Senior, Sarah Ann Butler, who has also faced a number of obstacles in the past few years, wished for a way to thank her mother and to ease some of her family’s financial burdens. Butler was given an assortment of gifts including a laptop and gift cards for Whole Foods, Olive Garden, and a spa. Seniors, Jason Jenichen and Eric Zankiewicz were also given Laptops as a result of generous contributions towards the event.

Following the rally, Branham Choir teacher, Barbara West expressed her admiration towards the Make-a Wish efforts and said, “Because of the goodness of hundreds of teachers, students, and community members, we were able to provide many students and families with everything from food to spa days and laptops (and more), depending on their needs. It was moving and beautiful and so, so good!”

While many of the wishes proved to be tearjerkers and focused on hardship, the Leadership class also recognized many students for their academic ambition and success. Senior, Yesenia Perez was granted the Reidt Award, in which math teacher, Mrs. Amie Taylor offered to pay for all four of Perez’s AP exams. Other students including Justin Jackson, Angelina Lee, Jeff Nguyen, and Garima Lunawat all had their AP exam fees waved courtesy of the Branham Community. Students were not the only recipients of generous gifts, as Spanish Teacher, Mrs. Pat Ecklon was given flowers from her husband.

The rally proved to be a success among students including Senior, Zack Messick who stated that, “It was very heartwarming to see such deserving people have their wishes granted and receive recognition for all that they have experienced. The rally really made me aware of how many students are going through difficult things in their lives and served as a good reminder of what’s really important.”