By E.I. Hillin
As students unveiled the total contributions from the Broncos Empowering A Society Together fundraiser on Friday, a sense of pride swept the audience. In less than two weeks, students and faculty raised $35,021.
During the King and Queen of Hearts Assembly, MHS students and faculty gathered in the Event Center in anticipation to find out the total money raised for BEAST Week. The donation recipients and their families were also in attendance.
Abby Lupton, Student Council President, said she felt a sense of gratitude from being involved with BEAST Week.
“This was 100 percent from students and teachers, no corporate sponsors,” Lupton said. “I am very blessed to go to a school that gives that up for other people.”
Students and organizers weren’t sure if they would reach their goal this year. As of Wednesday, just two days before the final count, the total was approximately $20,000.
“It came flooding in,” said Alecia Day, Freshman Academy Counselor.
During the two-week span of BEAST Week, numerous events took place on campus. Ticket sales and merchandise sales from the events will go to two recipients. One is Mustang graduate Jarod Hale who has battled testicular cancer and the other is Mustang Parks Foundation to help fund Brittany’s Play Adventure.
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.
Hale said BEAST Week is one example of how the Mustang community is unlike any other.
“I think it makes Mustang different,” he said. “You don’t see that other places and I feel privileged.”
After the assembly Hale shared the news that his cancer treatment was successful.
“I’m excited to continue getting better and continue giving back,” Hale said.
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. The park, Brittany’s Play Adventure will be constructed soon.
Grider and her family were thrilled to receive news about students reaching their BEAST Week goal.
After the assembly Grider said she felt overwhelmed.
“Knowing they did this in less than two weeks, it blows my mind,” she said. “It blows me away.”
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.