Students grant shopping spree through Make-A-Wish

Members of Papillion Junior High School’s National Junior Honors Society pose for a photo Friday. The students raised $2,500 for Make-A-Wish Nebraska.

A fall fundraiser held by a group of Papillion Junior High School students will now make one 13-year-old’s wish come true.

The school’s National Junior Honor Society collected $2,500 and donated that money to Make-A-Wish Nebraska on Friday. The funds were enough to grant an entire wish for one child: Jayshawn, a boy who loves video games and basketball, and who suffers from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

As part of Jayshawn’s wish, which will be granted Feb. 20, he will be picked up in a limo and taken to the mall of his choice. Make-A-Wish also sets up private dressing rooms for its shopping sprees and gets the child lunch at their favorite restaurant.

“He’s going to buy some video games,” said Lauren Piller, a representative from Make-A-Wish who visited the school to receive the donation and present the students with a plaque. “He’s also going to get the newest [Air] Jordans.”

Piller said these children often spend a lot of time in the hospital, missing out on parties and other events. The day their wish is granted is really about making that child feel special by giving them a dream opportunity and an experience that is all about them.

“Make-A-Wish Nebraska currently has about 120 pending wishes, so for you to be able to grant a whole wish is something that we’re so grateful for,” Piller said while speaking to students Friday.

The school’s NJHS sold cookie dough and magazines as part of its annual fall fundraiser, collecting the money before deciding as a group where they wanted it to go.

PJH student and NJHS member Ryleigh Parrack said the students got together and submitted ideas on where they wanted to see the funds go. Many students suggested Make-A-Wish and after a final vote, it was chosen. “We all knew what Make-A-Wish was and that a lot of people have been impacted by it,” Parrack said. “We can all smile because we realize that we can make someone’s wish come true and make a difference in their whole life.”

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