Wahpeton Elementary School third graders were thanked and treated for their generosity towards Make-A-Wish North Dakota.

Aurora LaTraille, one of April Anderson’s students, once again set the school’s record for individual donations. She contributed $225, the proceeds of a hot chocolate and Kool Aid stand recently set up outside her home.

Wahpeton Elementary School itself raised $1,738 for Make-A-Wish North Dakota. Donations to the philanthropic organization include $357.41 collected by Anderson’s class, $267.65 from Shana Remily’s first grade students and $211.42 from JaKayla Smith’s second grade students.

“Aurora was a big contributor, but I bet all of you helped,” Wish Granter Kaycee Fuder said. “Maybe you can help next year and have another party then.”

Fuder was joined by fellow Wish Granter Amy Cookman to provide ice cream sandwiches and tell the students, plus substitute teacher Kathy Dimmer, more about Make-A-Wish North Dakota’s mission.

“Wishing kids can go somewhere special or meet somebody. They can be somebody. There’s all sorts of things they can do. But, we have to remember that these kids are very ill. That’s not fun. Making a wish, for them, is something exciting. There’s a reason they’re getting their wish,” Fuder said.

Daily News and News Monitor’s upcoming Profile, “Stronger Together, The Power of Community,” includes a closer look at how Make-A-Wish North Dakota has improved lives and become a cornerstone in the Red River Valley.

“You guys helping with coins helps these kids that are very sick get their wish. That’s very awesome,” Fuder said.

“Can you guys guess how much money it takes for one wish?” Cookman asked.

An average wish costs $7,500, the students learned. Fundraising makes a difference.

“The only money they get is when people help donate, like you guys did,” Fuder said. “That’s awesome.”

Wahpeton Elementary School previously raised $3,414.81 for Make-A-Wish North Dakota in 2021. This included the $622.73 raised by the winning fourth grade class taught by Adonica Good.

“It’s a very rewarding opportunity for us,” Fuder said about granting wishes.

Upcoming Make-A-Wish events include the four-person team puzzle competition that will be held beginning at 4 p.m. Saturday, March 19 at the Abercrombie Community Center in Abercrombie, North Dakota. To learn more, contact Cookman and Fuder through social media.

“What (wish granting) takes is a whole community working together in different ways,” North Dakota Communications and Development Manager Tori Schrantz said.

Fuder, Cookman and the rest of their Make-A-Wish friends are looking forward to not only the puzzle competition, but carrying on Coins for Wishes in Breckenridge, Minnesota. The Twin Towns Area is invited to stay tuned for more opportunities to give.

“(We create) strength, hope and transformation in a child and a community,” Make-A-Wish stated.

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