Union Street Journal

Creek departs from Make-A-Wish

Student+Senate+helped+Creek+raise+%2423%2C000+towards+bags+of+fun.
Student Senate helped Creek raise $23,000 towards bags of fun.

Student Senate helped Creek raise $23,000 towards bags of fun.

Student Senate helped Creek raise $23,000 towards bags of fun.

Valerie Lombogia, Student Life Editor

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Creek is moving in a new direction with fundraising for Bags of Fun leading to a Power Week without a Wish Kid this year.

Formerly known as Wish Week, Power Week is the school’s annual effort to reach a fundraising goal for a charitable organization. In past years, this was the Make-A-Wish Foundation for which the school would raise money to grant the wish of a child with a life-threatening illness.

This year, Student Senate – which coordinates Power Week – made the decision to switch over to Bags of Fun. The goal of Bags of Fun is to cheer up kids with life-threatening conditions by giving them bags filled with various toys and activities.

This shift can be attributed to many reasons, but according to Activities Director Krista Keogh, it is mainly due to how close the organization is to Creek’s community.

“What I really love about Bags of Fun is that it’s a local organization. It’s something that started here in the [Denver] metro area,” Keogh said. “These were kids that were in our community that actually received a Bag of Fun.”

The founder of the organization, Tammy Krause, attended Cherry Creek along with her siblings. Many students at Creek, including Student Senate, have volunteered at Bags of Fun.

“They go over there once a week and they stuff the bags, and they have let us go deliver the bags to the patients in the hospital,” Keogh said.

In prior years, Power Week donations were split between Make-A-Wish and Bags of Fun, but it was this year that 100% of proceeds started going to Bags of Fun.

“Make-A-Wish did not want us to split the proceeds from our Wish Week with another organization. Because of that, we decided to just go with Bags of Fun,” Keogh said. “That’s why we didn’t have a Wish Kid this year.”

According to Student Senate member Max Gomez, another reason for the switch was because of an assumption Make-A-Wish had about Creek’s ability to raise money.

“Make-A-Wish and Senate were disagreeing on Creek’s responsibility to donate,” Gomez said. “There was an expectation that Creek would raise more money because we’re an affluent community and our student body size.”

The decision was still based on Senate’s interest in Bags of Fun.

“Pretty much, the entire Senate was in consensus about switching from Make-A-Wish,” Gomez said. “We were excited to work with Bags of Fun.”

Although some students questioned the disappearance of the Wish Kid, other students were unbothered.

“I didn’t think it mattered that much because we were still raising money for a good cause,” Senior Jane Pyastolova said. “A charity is still a charity.”

There were also students that preferred Bags of Fun over Make-A-Wish.

“I like Bags of Fun more because you can help more people,” Senior Yvonne Liu said.

Liu also saw positives in Make-A-Wish that we would be losing in the switch to Bags of Fun.

“It’s also important to focus on the needs of one person,” Liu said. “We get to know them better and more personally.”

The overall response from students to Bags of Fun compared to Make-A-Wish was mostly unchanged with one thing being different.

“From a money standpoint, it was about the same. We raised about the same amount of money as in years past,” Keogh said. “I would say the most noticeable difference was the pep assembly.”

Keogh explained that attendance at the pep assembly was disappointingly low in comparison to previous years.

“I think one of the reasons the turnout wasn’t as good was because we didn’t have a Wish Kid,” Keogh said. “But I also think the time change has affected that because it’s so much later in the day.”

Students also agreed that the time change made attending the assembly more difficult. Pyastolova had the conflict of work.

“I had eighth off so it would’ve been later for me to go,” Pyastolova said.

Liu said not going was not a matter of interest and that it was more related to the later time.

“I’ve been to them before. I think they’re pretty fun, more than the one in the fall,” Liu said. “[I didn’t go because] I was tired.”

Keogh revealed that the start time of the pep assembly may be moved to the morning to improve attendance, but she doesn’t believe Creek will go back to Make-A-Wish.

“I don’t foresee us going back to Make-A-Wish just because organizationally, I really like how Bags of Fun is run,” Keogh said. “But I would love to know from students how we could make it a more personal experience.”

Other schools in the Cherry Creek district have also chosen to move away from Make-A-Wish towards a cause more meaningful to their own communities. For example, Eaglecrest High School concentrated on the American Heart Association for their 2018 Wish Week after the passing of one of their coaches.

“I think sometimes communities are choosing to support causes that they see are important to their community,” Keogh said. “This was something that I felt like and my student senate kids felt like was something that had really given back to our immediate community h

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Creek departs from Make-A-Wish