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Cottonwood Heights Journal

Community invited to support Brighton High as they raise funds for local Make-a-Wish child

Dec 01, 2023 08:48AM ● By Julie Slama

Brighton High students are raising funds to grant the wish of Lilly, a five-year-old who was diagnosed with leukemia, as they fundraise for Make-a-Wish Utah. (Photo courtesy of Make-a-Wish Utah)

Brighton High students are hoping to help grant wishes to Make-a-Wish Utah children this holiday season and they’re inviting the community to support their efforts.

The first full week of December, Brighton High is holding “Wish Week” in hopes of supporting a wish for a local 5-year-old girl, Lilly, who has been diagnosed with leukemia.

“We’re hoping that the community will come and be interested in buying silent auction baskets and also attending the various restaurant nights that we have,” student body president Luke Barlow said. “We also encourage them to come to the student-faculty basketball game where the baskets will be on display and during half-time, we’ll introduce Lilly.”

Barlow said Lilly is full of life.

“She’s super outgoing, always curious. loves to talk to people and make friends,” he said. “She likes unicorns and princesses. She hasn’t decided on her wish yet, but she’s thinking of being a princess for a day. She mentioned she wants lots of playdough and she’s also interested in Disney World, but she’s yet to fully decide.”

Lilly is just one of the youth that Brighton students hope to support in granting a wish with their goal of raising $40,000.

“Make-a-Wish says wishes average $4,000 to $6,000. If we meet our goal, they’ll be able to grant anywhere from six to 10 kids,” he said, adding that the funds will stay to help local children.

Barlow said he chose the Make-a-Wish foundation for the school’s annual fundraiser since “a lot of people have connections with it and Make-a-Wish has positively impacted a lot of people.”

His own cousin had cancer and “Make-a-Wish was a big part for her as she was growing up, dealing with cancer.” His cousin asked for gymnastics equipment and still uses it today as she is “stronger than ever.” He said the Foundation didn’t overlook her siblings as they had a fun scavenger hunt day.

“It’s just cool to see the difference they make in people’s lives,” he said.

Brighton’s Wish Week begins Monday, Dec. 4 with a portion of the proceeds from purchases at Café Rio Mexican Grill at the 6973 S. 1300 East location from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. will be given to the fundraiser.

On Tuesday, Dec. 5, there will be more than 80 gift baskets on display at Brighton High School during the student vs. teacher basketball game that begins at 7 p.m. The auction will be online with the link available from the school’s website: There also will be a donation link if the community wishes just to contribute.

“Each student government member is in charge of contacting three businesses to get three baskets,” he said, adding there are 28 student government members. “Then we’ll put together the baskets and have a business class help us come up with titles and descriptions for each of the baskets.”

All day on Wednesday, Dec. 6, a percentage of proceeds from purchases made at Swig at the 2065 Fort Union Blvd. location will go toward Brighton’s fundraiser

Between 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 7, Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers at the 890 East Fort Union Blvd. location also will give a portion of its proceeds from purchases made.

Brighton students will be raising funds for three weeks as a contest between their third period classes. The class that gets the highest percentage of contributions will receive a pizza and doughnut party

“I like watching the students rally to support these kids,” Barlow said. “This year, it’s Lilly, but we’ve done it the past two years and several other years. We’ve had a girl named Aspen and everyone knew Haley at our school. Our school community has come out to support them and it’s made a big difference for them and for their families.”

In addition to helping Make-a-Wish, the six Brighton student body leaders have led monthly service projects, such as cleaning up the school grounds, helping a trunk-or-treat at an adult autism center and helping give clothing and items for humanitarian aid in Zimbabwe. They’re planning to help at the Utah Food Bank soon. λ