• 36°

Make-A-Wish sends girl to Disney

A young Ironton girl’s wish came true, thanks to students at the Collins Career Center.

Tuesday, January 23, 2001

A young Ironton girl’s wish came true, thanks to students at the Collins Career Center.

Students at the career center raised $3,018 for the Make-A-Wish foundation to send Bethany Clemons and her family to Walt Disney World in Florida.

The funds were raised through Kim Kelley’s junior cosmetology class. The surplus funds will be used to grant a wish for a second child from Lawrence County. Kelley’s class preforms community service projects each year as a part of the Skills USA/Vocational Industrial Club of America.

"Mrs. Tracy Beckman of the Make- A-Wish Foundation said that we raised the largest amount a school has ever raised," Kelley said. "Most schools only donate a few hundred dollars. She really thought that was amazing."

Bethany was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when she was an infant. Cystic fibrosis is a life-threatening genetic disorder that affects the respiratory, digestive and reproductive systems. In Bethany’s case, her lungs and pancreas are affected.

She made the trip to Disney World in November along with her parents, brother and a cousin.

"This gave me a lot of satisfaction," said Eriqua Bacon, a student in Kelley’s class. "To know that a sick child’s dream came true was rewarding."

Kelley’s class got other classes at the career center involved by personally challenging them to raise funds. Each class raised funds in a different way.

For example, two students raised $100 by putting together a jar of Skittles, and then selling guesses on the number of Skittles for 25 cents each. Some classes sold jewelry, others held bake sales.

"We’re impressed by our students," said Louis Peake, director of school-community relations. "This renews your faith in high school students that they are basically good."

On Wednesday, Jan. 17, the students threw a party for Bethany. There they presented her with a cake, and presents.

"Her favorite color is blue," said Kelley. "So most of us got her blue clothes."

"I started crying when I saw her," Said Ambria Freeman, another of Kelley’s students. "I was so happy for her."

Kelley said that Make-A-Wish doesn’t generally accept funds for one particular person. But in this case, having a name to put with the funds helped.

To donate, or volunteer with Make-A-Wish, call (888) 441-9474.