Classes develop creative approaches to fundraise for WISH


Stephanie Luce

Students of Dr. Kellum’s WISH class, Daniel Ritz and Gregory Yonan, wrap a present they bought for their WISH family.

For more than 18 years, Libertyville High School has been involved in a philanthropic event known as WISH (Wildcats Initiative for Sharing the Holidays), previously known as Adopt-a-Family.

Every third period class chooses a small, medium, large or extra large family to support; these families from around the Lake Country area are unable to purchase gifts during the holiday season, and they are identified by Catholic Charities.

Each class has two-to-three WISH leaders who go to meetings and help organize fundraisers. Meetings and fundraisers for WISH began in late October and continued until Dec. 6, which was the day of the WISH dinner. Third-period classes are responsible for brainstorming ways to fundraise enough money to buy each family member the gifts they requested on their wish list.

Each year, bake sales are very popular fundraisers that classes participate in. Every class has the option to have a table outside the cafeteria for two days, and most classes take advantage of this opportunity. Although there have been plenty of bake sales this year, many classes have thought of alternative and more unique ways to raise money.

Mrs. Eryn Brown’s Dance II WISH class decided to offer Dance Grams. Dance II student Emma Peterson explained how the Dance Grams were three dollars each, and students could choose from four different groups of dancers and five different songs to send to their friends. Each recipient would then receive a card and candy cane during their third period class, and would have students perform a dance for them.

The Dance Grams were a big hit, as Peterson’s group had 11 people to deliver Dance Grams to during one Wednesday. Senior Colin Fields was a student who received a dance gram: “It was a nice surprise and was very entertaining. My whole class enjoyed it too.”

Additionally, Mrs. Hillary Gooris’s third-period Algebra II class had an interesting way of fundraising. According to WISH leader Taylor Petz, a student in the class, Sophia Abrego, has a connection to an animal shelter. She was able to borrow five kittens during lunch hours  and let students hold and pet the kittens for one dollar each. This, along with the class’s milkshake stand, made them more than $300.

Another WISH class, Dr. Debra Kellum’s third-period accounting class, had a Hanakawa fried rice fundraiser along with the chance to win four Blackhawks tickets for the night of Dec. 17, a reserved staff parking spot for a month, and reserved seats for families at the 2018 graduation ceremony. They made almost $600 from all of these fundraisers combined.

Mr. Jonathan Kim’s third-period class created the Kim Jam. The Kim Jam was a tournament of six-on-six dodgeball and three-on-three basketball.

“We got the idea from an event we did when I was in high school,” Mr. Kim said. “The reason Kim Jam came up was because when I did it, it was called Gym Jam.”

Students could create a team by signing up before Nov. 18, the day of the event. To participate, each player had to pay $5 as a registration fee. So, a whole dodgeball team cost $30 and a basketball team cost $15. There were 14 teams in all: six dodgeball and eight basketball.

The winners of each tournament received gift cards and t-shirts. They also had food, drinks and music during the three-hour event. According to Mr. Kim, they raised $350 from this event.

Other classes held babysitting nights while some sold coffee grams, food from Thai Noodles Cafe, clout goggles, walking tacos, pancakes, ramen noodles, and much more.