Make-A-Wish was established as a result of six community members, working together to make a young boy’s dream come true. Nearly 40 years later, Make-A-Wish stands as the largest wish-granting organization in the world. Just as the founding members of Make-A-Wish encouraged their communities to come together to grant wishes, so too have this year’s Kids for Wish Kids® honorees.
Each year, Make-A-Wish Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana recognizes the achievements of exemplary schools, educators and students. During the 2016 – 2017 school year, these individuals have embodied innovation, philanthropy, and impact, going above and beyond to grant local wishes. We are proud to present “School of the Year,” “Educator of the Year,” and “Youth Leader of the Year,” to the following honorees:
“School of the Year” - Concord Junior High School
If you were attending the Concord Junior High School’s Closing Ceremony for their Make-A-Wish Fundraising Campaign, you’d see that “not all heroes wear capes.” Some come in the form of 7th and 8th graders just trying to make a difference. On March 31st, Concord Junior High School stunned the community when they announced over $43,000 had been raised by this year’s fundraiser. Since starting this campaign in the 1990's, this school has inspired their community with their dedication to making a difference. Adding this new amount to their historical total, Concord Junior High School has raised nearly $350,000 to support the Make-A-Wish mission. This is more than any other school in our chapter territory! Because of this amazing achievement, it’s our honor to recognize Concord Junior High School as Make-A-Wish Ohio, Kentucky & Indiana’s “School of the Year.”
“Educator of the Year” - Kelly Speigel – Clay Middle School
We honor Kelly Speidel of Clay Middle School located in Carmel, Indiana with the Educator of the Year Award. Kelly was moved by the mission of Make-A-Wish to try to make a difference in her students’ lives. In her first campaign, she surprised even herself by raising over $5,000 for local wish granting. In an effort to then grant an entire wish on her own, Kelly was able to recruit more than just her students (in fact, nearly half the grade) and they raised more than $12,000 for Make-A-Wish in their second year. For her passion for the mission and her drive to increase this campaign each year, Make-A-Wish Ohio, Kentucky & Indiana is proud to recognize Kelly for her work as Make-A-Wish’s “Educator of the Year.”
“Youth Leader of the Year” – Leanne Tang –Upsilon Mu Chapter of Chi Omega, John Carroll University
The Chi Omega chapter at John Carroll University is home to an exceptional young woman. Leanne Tang is their current philanthropy chair, who knows first-hand the impact of a wish. When Leanne was twelve-years-old, she battled a life-threatening medical condition and received a wish. Leanne’s wish experience still brings her hope, strength, and joy each and every day. Eight years later, she is now leading her chapter of Chi Omega to double their annual fundraising goals for Make-A-Wish, and will be sponsoring a wish for the first time! Leanne is a remarkable young woman whose passion for Make-A-Wish is a driving force in her life. She continues to inspire her community with her unique understanding of the life-changing impact of a wish. It is for these reasons that Make-A-Wish Ohio, Kentucky & Indiana would like to recognize Leanne Tang as “Youth Leader of the Year.”
If you would like to learn more or bring Kids for Wish Kids® to your school, please visit http://oki.wish.org/ways-to-help/fundraising/kids-for-wish-kids.