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Bringing hype to Wish Week, even during a pandemic


 In spite of a global pandemic, student senate was still able to have Wish Week. Every year around the end of January into the beginning of February, the tradition of Wish Week takes place. “Make a Wish Colorado is who we work with. We partner with them to match a wish recipient each year with our school,” said Brad Odice, senate teacher. HR gets paired with a wish recipient who is in the area or close by. This year’s Wish Week recipient was Hunter. Hunter is four years old and is diagnosed with leukemia. 

Hunter at the the Wish Week drive by parade. Photo courtesy of the hrhsstudentsenate Instagram page

“As a 4-year-old, Hunter is generally quiet, but after some time, he warms up to you. He’s really sweet, loves Venom, and loves Toy Story. Kind of the typical kid stuff you’d expect a 4 year old kid to enjoy,” said Odice.

This year brought a lot of challenges to prepare for the event. “Part of the fun is having the school decorated in all the things that our wish recipient likes and enjoys doing, so I think we kind of missed that visual piece,” said Odice. Student senate had to rely a lot on social media platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter to get information out. They posted multiple videos, photos and infographics supporting Hunter and used social media as a way to get the community involved. 

The preparation leading up to Wish Week is a major process. “Wish Week was obviously very different than normal, doing it completely remote,” said Odice. Senate faced a lot of unexpected events that they had to deal with and prepare for. “We had originally planned to do it remote, and then we were told we might be back in person. However, then at the end of the day, we actually stayed remote throughout the whole thing. It was a challenge to plan what would be effective for the community, so we ultimately decided to do a lot of social media stuff,” said Odice.

Kelly Corr, shaving half of his beard for his teacher incentive, which was completed once students raised $3,000. Photo courtesy of the hrhswishweek Tik Tok page

“There is a lot that goes into preparing for Wish Week. Even though we couldn’t put on all the normal activities we do, we still had to do a lot of work especially when it came to making it Covid safe for everyone, and especially Hunter,” said Lexi Devon, senior in senate. They were able to do an in-person parade that was socially distanced which was something new. They even had a scavenger hunt to find a Woody doll, where the winner got a gift card. 

When trying to raise money, the student senate has to find ways to motivate people to donate. One way they do this is through teacher incentives. A teacher incentive is where a teacher agrees to doing a certain thing if students raise a certain dollar amount. “I sent it to the staff to see if they wanted to sign up or if they were interested. Students collected the names of the teachers that volunteered, and we reached out to teachers as well to follow up. Then they usually set a financial limit, so if we reach a certain dollar amount they will do something of their choice. If they don’t have any ideas, we will provide a list,” said Odice.

In the past, there have been several different types of incentives, which are usually performed at assemblies. Teachers and student senate always come up with something fun and silly to motivate students to donate. Whether it’s smashing a pie in someone’s face or Jennifer Daily pretending to be a mamma bird dropping food into Brian Domokos’s mouth. 

These are the teacher incentives, where a teacher agrees to doing a certain thing if students raise a certain dollar amount. Photo courtesy of the hrhsstudentsenate Instagram page

Once students hit 1,000 dollars, Maria Volker, Spanish teacher, had to do her incentive for a week.“I had to speak with a British accent. I lived in England, so it was kind of easy for me to adapt to that,” she said.

Other teachers like Amber Rosacker, math teacher, went with a different incentive. Hers was getting a pie to the face once students hit 5,000 dollars. “It was kind of funny being remote because my fiance had to do it, and I think he actually enjoyed that more than students would have in the first place, so that was kind of fun. One night we just bought some whip cream and a pie pan, and he recorded it all. He loved it and it was funny. It was a good time,” said Rosacker. 

Amber Rosacker getting hit in the face with a pie after completing her teacher incentive. Photo courtesy of Lexi Devon

This year, senate raised at least 24,000 dollars, surpassing their 10,000 dollar goal. Last year HR managed to raise more than 40,000 dollars for the Wish Week kid, Carson. Volker said, “I thought Wish Week went very well. My congratulations to Mr. Odice and all the kids involved in it. Overall, senate rocked. Highlands Ranch rocked. I am very proud to be staff here at this school.”

Amalia SanMillan, Associate Editor

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Bringing hype to Wish Week, even during a pandemic