Make-A-Wish t-shirts benefit good cause


The 2021-2022 Make-A-Wish t-shirt design.

Rylee C. Ogden, Staff Writer

Thanks to community, student, and faculty support, 1,300 Make-A-Wish shirts were sold this year, which makes this the most successful year for sales. Mr. Shimmel, seventh grade geography, eighth grade American history teacher, and assistant Athletic Director has been organizing these t-shirt sales since 2008.

“I picked the Make-A-Wish organization because they treated my family so well after my son Corey was diagnosed with leukemia when he was 3 years old. Naturally, I wanted to give back to the organization,” also sharing that former middle school principal, Fred Redden, was the one who pitched the idea for the t-shirt sales. Mr. Shimmel shared that when Redden asked for ideas for a charity that could benefit from the t-shirt sales, Make-A-Wish, a charity with the goal to grant wishes to children with life threatening diseases or health problems, was an easy decision.

Mr. Shimmel also gave some insight into how organizing each sale works. “After having done this for so many years it has become a familiar process. We have been fortunate to have administrative support for this annual event since its inception.  Obviously, that is always the first step.  Emailing everyone with details of the sale and getting order forms out is time-consuming, but nothing too strenuous.  The hardest part is carried out by the faculty and staff who take care of handing out and collecting order forms and money.  They are the ones that make this annual sale a success.  I also have a tremendous group of volunteers who help every year with tabulating totals, handing out shirts and whatever else needs done.  They all make my part much easier.  And my wife manages to keep me somewhat sane and organized during the Bison Pride Make-A-Wish Week along with also taking care of the shirt orders at the elementary school.  It can be a very chaotic week!”

While the t-shirt sales are a great way to give to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, with all the profit going to the organization, students, faculty, people of the community, or anyone that wants to pitch in to the great cause can also donate to the cause or contact the organization to see if volunteer opportunities are available.

Mr. Shimmel also wanted to leave our readers with this inspiring statement, “‘Pay it forward’” is such a simple phrase to say, but not always what we do.  I have always felt it was important to be part of something bigger than yourself; a way to give back to society in some way, because we all have things to be thankful for in life.  Paying it forward is a great way to show that.  No matter what it is, be part of that something bigger.  We’re not here very long. So, make it count.”