Make-A-Wish Week’s Dwindling Donations


Once again, Make-A-Wish week has completed its run for the year. It’ll be another six months before students are encouraged to dress up for homecoming, and another twelve before any student gets the chance to purchase a star for the class competition. For the Student Council, this year will be spent looking into what went right and what went wrong this Make-A-Wish season.

Make-A-Wish has made $1,221 at the high school so far this year, although estimates are still coming in from the middle and elementary schools. The donations in Park County School District #6 have averaged between $3,000- $4,000 in the last five years.

Make-A-Wish has been a part of Cody schools for over 20 years now. At one point, Cody raised over $20,000 for the foundation. So what’s changed these last years?

Lawren Johnson, Senior Class Vice President, speculated the reason for Cody’s lower donation rates is based on a change in Make-A-Wish policy in which students are no longer able to donate to a specific child. “Finding someone and really donating money towards them is more sympathetic,” she said.

Student Council Advisor Ryan Beardall explained that this change came about due to taxes. If Cody High School was to raise money for a specific child, the IRS would claim taxes from the family on the money raised, when in fact the money was raised for Make-A-Wish Wyoming to give to the family. “I don’t know where it’s going to,” he said, referencing how he thinks the community feels about giving money to the foundation as opposed to a local child.

Beardall has experienced how the foundation can change lives through his niece, who was a Make-A-Wish child. “The kind of joy that those kids have, having gone through what they’ve gone through, is just one of the pleasures of life,” he said. Regardless of the amount made, Beardall is proud of how his students handled the fundraiser and looks forward to next year. “They really are making a difference.”