Powell High School was bustling with various fundraisers last week, including a volleyball tournament, dinner, silent auction, kiss-a-pig and minute-to-win-it. All of the events were planned by the members of student council for the purpose of raising money for Make-A-Wish Wyoming.
The week’s activities culminated on Thursday evening with a dinner, silent auction and volleyball tournament.
“I thought it went really well,” said student body president Nicole Sanders of Thursday evening. “We had a great showing from people for dinner and then also for volleyball; we had a lot more teams than we thought we were.”
A total of 15 teams competed in the tournament.
Brooklyn Sweet, junior class vice president, was in charge of planning the competition and said “it went a lot better than expected.”
“There was a lot of teams that showed up, a lot of people from the community that helped out, a lot of our members stepped up,” Sweet said.
Teams from each elementary school, a PHS staff team, a team from the Powell Volunteer Fire Department, a team from Powell Valley Healthcare and teams comprised of high school students and college athletes battled it out.
“It was really cool how the community really stepped up for that, I thought,” said Sanders.
It was the first time that a volleyball tournament was part of the fundraising festivities.
“We just kind of wanted to get a lot of people involved, and some of the community too, kind of more than just high school kids,” Sweet said. “And we thought volleyball could do that, bring people in.”
The PHS gymnasium was filled with laughter and friendly banter during the tourney.
Pool play came first, with the teams then split into gold, silver and bronze brackets based on those results. The championship team in the gold bracket was awarded a trophy made by high school students in welding class.
The championship team was comprised of Northwest College athletes from the basketball and volleyball teams.
“We were glad we could play for a good cause,” said Sam Waite, a member of the championship squad.
Though the week’s activities are planned by student council members, the goal is for the entire PHS student body to realize that each student can have a positive impact on someone’s life — and what better way to demonstrate that than through Make-A-Wish.
“We try to get the students involved as much as possible,” said Sanders.
The Make-A-Wish foundation raises money to grant wishes to a child with a life-threatening medical condition. All of the funds raised throughout the week at Powell High School will be donated to Make-A-Wish Wyoming, with the funds going to grant a wish for child who resides in Wyoming.
Because of privacy laws, the student council is not allowed to know whose wish will be granted.
The student council set a goal of raising $7,000, as that’s the average cost of a single wish; as of Sunday, Sanders estimated that they reached their goal.
An exact amount was unknown, as more funds will come in this week.
Prior to the dinner, silent auction and volleyball tournament, the high school had dress-up days, intended to build anticipation for the culminating night.
PHS also had a Thursday assembly where student council members educated the PHS student body about what Make-A-Wish does and how it helps kids.
At the assembly, PHS students also learned which of their two teachers had to kiss a pig.
Sanders said the student council made buckets for each of the 10 teachers who participated in the fundraiser, with the understanding whichever two teachers had the most money in their buckets would have to kiss a pig.
Prior to counting the totals in the buckets last week, the council had decided that if two teachers were within $1 of each other, they would tie. Sanders said it was kind of funny, because two teachers wound up within 96 cents of each other.
So, three teachers — Troy Hildebrand, Chase Kistler and Brandon Preator — were made up in red lipstick from the student council and then required to kiss a pig.
Another fundraiser involved auctioning off four parking spaces in front of the high school — those belonging to PHS principal Jim Kuhn, PHS activities director Tim Wormald and those of student body president and vice president. The students with the highest bids get to park in those spots for the remainder of the school year.
“They did really well this year,” said Sanders.
The student council also raised funds with what they call “minute-to-win-it,” where buckets were passed around for a minute while money was placed in the bucket. That raised a little more than $500, Sanders said.
Another fundraiser involved selling stars at each of the elementary schools for $1.
Tessa Eller, PHS student body secretary, said the elementary schools always do a great job of participating and that the student council appreciates their willingness to help.
The student council also thanked the community and PHS student body for their support and participation — as well as thanking all the individuals and businesses who donated money and/or items for the silent auction or food for the dinner.
“This is a community-wide effort” said Tammy Thiel, student council co-adviser. “We wouldn’t be able to do it if it wasn’t for the community.”
The student council is also co-advised by Nick Fulton.
In four years of being on the student council and helping plan the event, Sanders said her biggest takeaway has been “the impact that a single person can have.”
With fundraisers like the minute-to-win-it, Sanders said some people will say “Oh, I don’t have much,” or “I only have pennies,” but when all of those pennies are added together, every little bit helps.
“It’s basically one week out of the year and we have the opportunity to ... give them a positive memory, to give them something to look forward to, and I think that’s really powerful, how, almost easy it is to change someone’s life in that way,” said Sanders of the Make-A-Wish fundraising.
Photo courtesy Mike Heny