Twelve fervent requests were granted Friday at Golden Valley High School's Wish Rally, an event where students and staff bonded to brighten the lives of others.
The 12:45 p.m. event in the Merced school's gymnasium capped off several months of campaigning and fund raising by Leadership Class students.
Austin Worden, activities director, said every Golden Valley student had a chance to fill out a wish request in November asking for a sincere and genuine wish that could possibly come true at the rally.
More than 500 request forms were received.
"At Golden Valley, we are one big family," said Danielle Diele, Leadership Class commissioner of rallies. "We constantly encourage the importance of family, a reason for our Wish Rally focuses on not just the student's personal request, but requests made by the student that will help their family as well."
Day spa visits, dinner for a family, eye and dental consultations, a day at an amusement park, a grave marker, a mattress and a donation to the Merced County Library were among the wishes granted.
GV students and faculty raised more than $750 during a December staff auction and $400 in proceeds from last week's Mr. GV Pageant also were directed to fulfilling wishes.
"Many hours were spent by the Leadership Class students reviewing and discussing the requests and to see if the class could grant their wishes," Worden said.
Although many school rallies are spirited and silly in nature, the tone of this rally focuses more on the human spirit and just how powerful helping others can be, Worden said.
Bringing people closer
Jason Moua, sophomore class treasurer, said the Wish Rally is important to the school because it builds a different environment on campus. He thinks it will bring GV students closer together and will better the community of Merced.
Miranda Gladwin, Leadership Class commissioner of publicity, said organizers want students to know their wishes are important to the entire school.
Emma Zacharias, commissioner of events, said it was decided to emphasize the importance of family.
"Golden Valley High School has never experienced something like this so it will definitely be a day to remember," Zacharias said.
Reporter Doane Yawger can be reached at (209) 385-2407 or firstname.lastname@example.org.