Mesa sixth-grader Hannah Lorsch, 11, has recruited her entire school for a Make-a-Wish Foundation fund-raiser. Under Hannah’s leadership, Patterson Elementary School will launch a Make-a-Chain for Make-a-Wish event Nov. 12 during a school assembly.
Students will purchase paper links for 25 cents each and write their own wishes on the links. The class producing the longest chain will earn a Cold Stone Creamery ice cream party for its entire grade level.
Hannah proposed the plan to school officials last year with her father. She said her goal is to raise at least $1,000 to help make a dream come true for a child with a lifethreatening medical condition.
"I thought it would be a really cool way to be able to help people," said Hannah, who moved with her family to east Mesa in 2000 from Washington state.
Hannah said that when her family lived in Washington, two of her brothers’ friends developed serious illnesses and had wishes granted through the Make-a-Wish foundation.
One, who is still battling a rare illness, wished to be an astronaut. Hannah said Make-a-Wish flew him to Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., where he received a pilot’s uniform and watched a shuttle launch from the VIP gallery.
Hannah said the other family friend, who died from liver cancer in 1999, wished for a family trip to Disneyland. Hannah’s father, Michael, was so impressed with Make-a-Wish after that experience that he began working for the foundation. Today he works for the Makea-Wish national office.
Hannah said she also has been impressed with Make-a-Wish.
"Not only does it lift the family’s spirits and help them take their mind off the child’s illness, but it also gives the family hope, strength and joy," Hannah said.
Patterson’s fund-raising drive will last two weeks, and the school will provide frequent updates on donations during school announcements.
How to help
To purchase paper links for Hannah’s Make-a-Chain for Make-a-Wish project, call Patterson Elementary School at (480) 472-9700.