A bit of mischief and a whole lot of heart have set the mood for students this week in Wahkiakum School District.
In its fourth year locally, Doernbecher Week is upon us. Students are raising money for Doernbecher Children’s Hospital through the Kids Making Miracles Foundation (KMM). It is being led by the school’s chapter of the Key Club, which is the youth branch of the Kiwanis Club.
Opening ceremonies took place Monday at the grade school and the high school. Student leaders led the entire assembly, presenting the selections for the Doernbecher Court, and explaining what the week is about.
Local resident Carol Wegdahl spoke of her recent experience with Doernbecher after her grandson had an accident where “every bone on the right side of his head was broken or shattered.” He had a successful surgery and is on the mend.
This year’s Doernbecher Court, nominated by the Key Club, includes freshmen Joey Moore and Tyra Elliott, sophomores Ethan Cothren and Tori Wegdahl, juniors Shane Souvenir and Delaney Doumit and seniors Steven Doumit and Haylee Budd. The newly appointed court raced in altogether inappropriate footwear, Souvenir sporting some ill-fitting red high heels, Cothren in black mules, Budd in waders. Thus ended Monday’s assembly.
Junior Jem Dyer explained, “Every teacher will have a jar. To get points you put pennies in your own jar. To take away points from other teacher’s classes, you put in quarters or dimes or nickels into their jar. They count it up at the end.”
The winning class has a root beer float party. “It’s a hit!” laughed Dyer and senior Marissa Washington.
Students at both schools have dress up theme days all week.
“Students dress up in clothing that represents themes associated with the treatment programs at Doernbecher,” wrote Jeff Rooklidge, a member of Kiwanis and a Key Club advisor.
The Doernbecher Court will be working hard to raise money in order to win the title of king and queen. Wednesday was Movie Night. Families and students were invited to eat popcorn and enjoy refreshments while viewing the movie Brave in the high school gym.
Friday’s festivities include Root Beer float sales at the grade school and the high school. There will be a dance at the high school from 8-10:30 for Wahkiakum and Naselle High School students.
On Saturday, they will cap off the week with a Spaghetti Feed beginning at 6 p.m. followed by a pageant where eight young men will be competing for the honor of being called Mr. Waki High in a series of contests including formal wear and talent.
“We have all these activities so we can involve not only the high schoolers, but we involve the elementary, middle school and also the families in our community," Washington said. "Because little did we know before we started this, a lot of people in this community have been affected by Doernbecher in some way. So we like to get everybody involved with the movie night and the spaghetti dinner, so it is like the whole community and not just the schools.”
Jem Dyer got involved after witnessing events her freshman year and speaking with Kayla Pugh, who along with her mother, Angie Pugh, are community advisors and adult leaders for the Doernbecher progam.
“We’ve made $8,000 in four years,” said Angie Pugh.
“We want to keep doing what we’re doing and be a part of the miracle,” said Washington.