by E.I. Hillin
Mustang High School students set the bar higher than ever for their annual Broncos Empowering A Society Together fundraiser, also known as BEAST Week. This year’s fundraising goal is $35,000.
“We cannot stress enough how much we need your help to get this done,” said Student Council President, Abby Lupton, during the Beast Week Kick Off Assembly.
During the two-week span, numerous events will take place on campus with ticket sales and merchandise sales going to Mustang graduate Jarod Hale and the Mustang Parks Foundation for the Brittany’s Play Adventure park project.
Last year students broke their old record by raising $32,000. Each year the amount increases. During a school assembly on March 31, the amount of money raised will be revealed to the recipients.
Jarod Hale is a 2003 Mustang graduate. He was diagnosed with testicular cancer and has undergone chemotherapy treatments. Hale said going through treatment has been the “worst experience of his life.”
Hale and his wife, Kendra Hale, grew up in Mustang and now live in the city with their four children, Josiah, 6, Lydia, 3, and one-year-old twins Alexandriah and Macaiah. As the family’s sole provider, Hale has struggled through the battle with cancer.
He said his insurance provider, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma, refuses to pay for a PET scan to find out if the chemotherapy worked. The cost of the scan is $5,000. Hale was happy to find out he was selected as a BEAST Week recipient.
“I’m not going to turn down anyone who wants to help,” Hale said. “It seems really neat they are giving back.”
The other recipient of the BEAST Week funds is the Mustang Parks Foundation. They money raised will go to help build an all-inclusive playground and splash pad which will be accessible to those with special needs. It will be unlike any park in Mustang or the surrounding communities of Oklahoma City.
The community park will be called Brittany’s Play Adventure. Lynly Grider of Mustang Parks Foundation was inspired by her sister-in-law, Brittany Grider, to make a new playground designed for children of all abilities to play together.
“I wanted to create a space for any child to play,” Lynly Grider said.
The City of Mustang is helping with funds, but the money raised by the community and BEAST Week will go to help pay for the entry way and signage. Grider said she was excited to found out the project was chosen for BEAST Week.
“We were super excited they chose us,” Grider said. “It will help with getting everything looking like a welcoming park.”
Mustang Parks Foundation and Mustang Parks & Recreation is holding a community playground build on Saturday and Sunday, April 22 and 23. There will be both a morning and an afternoon shifts. Morning registration begins at 7:30 a.m. with a morning kickoff at 8 a.m.
Afternoon registration begins at 12:30 p.m. with an afternoon kickoff at 1 p.m. Two hundred volunteers are needed to build Brittany’s Play Adventure. Volunteers ages 18 and older will assemble playground pieces, mix concrete, move mulch, paint mural, build planters, clean up and much more. Tools will be provided. Refreshments and water will be available. Registration is required. Sign up online or for more information, please contact Grider at 405-990-5590 or firstname.lastname@example.org.