WMES students pay it forward
WAVERLEY: Students at Waverley Memorial Elementary School continue to pay it forward in kindness and generosity.
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Recently, students at the school raised $1,130 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation in support of one of their students, Abbie Stephenson, who suffers from a medical condition. Abbie had her wish granted in Nov. 2011 when she went to Disneyworld.
Abbie suffers from Angelman's Syndrome, which is a neuro-genetic disorder that is characterized by intellectual and developmental disability, sleep disturbance, seizures, jerky movements (especially hand-flapping), frequent laughter or smiling, and most times a happy demeanor. She also has Epilepsy.
Make-A-Wish grants wishes to children between the ages of 3-17-years-old who are inflicted with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.
Brenda Webber took on the role of organizing the fundraiser at the school. She said students were encouraged to contribute a monetary donation towards the cause.
“When the students made a donation they put their name on a star, and hung it on the school’s Make-A-Wish wall,” said Webber, the Learning Resource Centre teacher.
She said Abbie’s good spirits despite battling her medical condition acted as motivation for the students.
“She inspired the school to take on the campaign,” said Webber.
Abbie’s mom, Marty Stephenson, said going to Florida for her wish was a moment they will carry with them forever.
“It was a life-changing experience for our whole family, and we wanted to do what we could to give back to this organization,” said Marty.
She said they contacted Waverley Memorial and set about raising money for children who are currently awaiting wishes. Marty praised and reiterated her appreciation of Webber’s efforts.
“Abbie's Learning Centre teacher Brenda (Webber) was very generous in taking on this project,” she said. “The response to this campaign has been simply incredible.”
Among the students to bring in money were a Grade 1 student who donated all the money he had saved, and another student that told her grandparents about the fundraiser and raised $200.
“It continues to show me that these students are willing to pay it forward,” said Marty.
Abbie, who is non-verbal and developmentally delayed (due to her illness), has been collecting the donations daily from each class, and is also passing out stars to all who donate. Those were then placed on what the school termed their “Make-A-Wish” wall of stars.
“The willingness of the school to help—teachers and students alike—is so touching,” said Marty.
The fundraiser came at the perfect time, with the Make-A-Wish Foundation celebrating its 25th anniversary in May.-23-12
A bit of information gleaned from the school’s newsletter explained what the fundraiser meant for the school.
“By working together the students and staff of the school helped to create hope and happiness for children with life-threatening illness throughout the Atlantic Provinces,” said the information tidbit in the newsletter.
Principal Ken Marchand was thrilled the school could assist Abbie, but also another Make-A-Wish child.
“It’s so special to be connected to such a supportive and caring school community,” said Marchand. “The students are so passionate around opportunities that serve to help others. I’m so fortunate to be a part of it.”
It’s expected the money raised by the students will be put towards helping bring a wish for a little boy in Kensington, P.E.I., come true.
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