HUDSON, FL. (May 2018): A heartfelt CLASS was in session on April 26, as Kids Wish Network celebrated the philanthropic success of Hudson Middle School’s (Pasco County) Cougar Community Club efforts. Led by teacher Mrs. Rhonda Starr, students in the club collectively raised $2,000 for Kids Wish Network’s CLASS (Creating Laughter And Spreading Smiles) program. In this school-based program of kids helping kids, the students’ fundraising efforts helped make two wishes come true for children with life-threatening illnesses. Monies raised in the program go directly into Kids Wish Network’s Guardian Angel Fund, where 100% of the donations are allocated to program services.
Kids Wish Network honored the Cougar Community Club with a festive party… there was pizza, cake and gifts, including a wide array of new school supplies, books, music cds, novelties, accessories and games donated by gracious product donors. “This is like Christmas morning,” said club leader Mrs. Starr, as she watched the students excitedly sorting through all their gifts. Students also saw the happiness their dedication created, watching a video presentation of the Wish Kids experiencing their once-in-a-lifetime dreams coming true. “The Cougar Community Club was formed with hopes of teaching empathy and compassion, and we have accomplished that (with CLASS), adding lots of cooperation and generosity as well,” said Mrs. Starr.
The CLASS party held special meaning for many in attendance. After almost 20 years, Mrs. Starr experienced a full-circle moment being reunited with former 8th grade English student Tom Ludington, the Distribution Manager for Kids Wish Network. Ludington was also previously taught 10th grade History by Hudson Middle School Assistant Principal Steve Casel. Pasco County Commission Chairman Mike Wells felt his own prideful connection, being in Hudson Middle School’s first graduating class. “What an honor it was to be back at my middle school, speaking with such remarkable young citizens,” said Wells. “These kids are making the world a better place by recognizing the power of giving back, and to see what they’re accomplishing at this age – this is what it’s all about.”
“CLASS is kids helping kids and enables them to celebrate the magic of giving,” said Kids Wish Network Executive Director Tam Lai. “It’s such a positive experience for kids to see how their kindness affects others, and it has a rippling effect.”
Over the years, Kids Wish Network, a children’s charity that grants wishes for kids with life threatening illnesses, has expanded its programs to reach even more kids in need. CLASS is a win-win for students and Wish Kids. The program boosts self-esteem, inspires kindness, and promotes connectedness and humanitarian values.
“Kids Wish Network’s CLASS benefitted our students foremost, by allowing an opportunity for our students to reciprocate loving kindness and a truly selfless act of charity for kids in need,” said Hudson Middle School Assistant Principal Steve Casel. “The generosity of your gifts will also allow for hundreds of additional acts of kindness as we perpetuate the generosity from your organization into rewards for HMS kids that demonstrate respectfulness, responsibility, and safely solve problems. My favorite memory was seeing the glowing pride in the faces of our students and those attending (especially Ms. Starr) knowing that they had done something special, important, and life altering for another human-being,”
Kids Wish Network would also like to thank Papa John’s Pizza – Hudson store #1911, Walmart of Hudson store #5266 and Publix Supermarkets Inc. for their generosity in donating to the CLASS celebration.
Kids Wish Network is a national charitable organization dedicated to infusing hope, creating happy memories, and improving the quality of life for children having experienced life-altering situations. Visit www.kidswishnetwork.org to learn more and find out how you can help makes dreams come true and sponsor a wish for a deserving child.