Photo courtesy of Michelle Berg.
Simmons Middle School faculty and students pose with Andrew, center, after surprising him with trips to Legoland and Disney World.
From Oct. 11 through Nov. 10, 2016, Simmons Middle School raised $4,000 through donations, concessions at school dances and the opportunity to wear sweatpants and hats to school in order to grant a magic moment to a chronically ill child through the Magic Moments organization.
The monthlong fundraising effort allowed the school to surprise a Hoover City Schools student with a trip to Legoland and Disney World. This is the second year that the middle school has granted a wish through the school’s fundraising efforts.
At a recent gathering of SMS faculty and students, it looked like any other pep rally day, but this one was extra special. The SMS band played, and students, dressed in red, white and black, were cheering as three judges entered the gym. Two of the judges, teachers Carrie McGrann and Dan Cater, were in on the surprise, but guest judge, Hoover City Schools student Andrew, thought he was at Simmons to judge a grade-level Lego competition at the pep rally.
Clipboard in hand, the three judges made their way first to the Gotham city creation by sixth-graders, then to a medieval times castle by the seventh-graders and finally to the eighth-graders’ creation of Sanford Stadium, home of the Georgia Bulldogs, a favorite team of Andrew’s. A few eighth-grade football players ran a play and then presented Andrew with a football signed by the Bulldogs’ head coach and all the Georgia players. But the surprise didn’t end there.
Simmons Principal Brian Cain then said he knew how much how Andrew liked both Legos and Disney, “So,” he began, “you and your family are going to …” and the students and faculty helped announce the surprise by cheering in unison, “Legoland and Disney World!”
Andrew, his family, a friend and his principal and teachers from his school all shared in Andrew’s excitement. Representatives of Magic Moments then spoke to those gathered, thanking them for helping to grant Andrew’s magic moment. Simmons will be granting another child a magic moment this month.
Magic Moments has been grating wishes for 32 years. It is a wish-granting organization devoted exclusively to creating magic moments in the lives of children in Alabama with chronic, life-threatening medical conditions. A magic moment allows children and their families to forget, even if just for a little while, the fear and pain of their illness. More information about the organization can be found at magicmoments.org.
– Submitted by Michelle Berg.