FLHS Club holds fundraiser at Community Theatre
By Mike Lauterborn
© 2011. All Rights Reserved.
Fairfield, CT – The lobby area of Fairfield Community Theater was abuzz with excited children, caring parents, thoughtful teens and a big green fellow named Shrek.
The occasion Saturday morning was the 8th annual “Movie Madness” event, a fundraiser hosted by the Fairfield Ludlowe High School Make-A-Wish Club, at the popular downtown movie house. The featured presentation was “Shrek” and, while free, donations were being accepted with all proceeds going to support the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Connecticut.
Explained FLHS student Melissa Warten, 17, “The Make-A-Wish Club of FLHS is a group devoted to raising funds for children with life-threatening medical conditions. This is one of our most popular fundraisers and we do it annually. The kids from all around town love coming to the movies and it helps us with donations. There are 30 of us in the Club this year.”
With regard to how Warten became involved with the Club, she said, “We have an activity fair every September advertising all the school clubs. When I saw this one as a freshman, I thought it would be interesting and looked into it. I’ve ended up sticking with it for three years and plan on being an officer next year.”
Speaking about the event, Sydney Kay, 16, a fellow volunteer, said, “People that donate today get to see our featured movie and will receive information about the club and organization and who it benefits. Kids can also write their names on paper stars, which we tape to a banner. We have wristbands, too.”
Another volunteer, Libbey Walker, 18, said the event has been successful over time. “We’ve been doing this since 2003 and have raised over $15,000 during that time. That has allowed us to grant two wishes and we’re close to granting a third. It takes about $5,000 or more per child.”
Kay said it’s a rewarding effort. “After a child takes advantage of their wish, they come back to us and tell us about their experiences. Usually we also get thank you’s from their parents, too, who tell us how the experience allowed them to forget about all the doctors for a couple of days and enjoy being a family again.”
Fairfielder Kirk Shankle and his daughter, Amelia, 6, were glad to support the cause. “It seemed like a good event, to help out Make-A-Wish, and gives Amelia the chance to see ‘Shrek’ on the big screen. Being a parent, I can’t imagine having a child in this situation. To help in a small way is great.”
Fellow Fairfielder Scott Meurer, attending with his daughter Zoe, 6, said friends had told him about the event and he was just learning about the organization, but that “it seemed like a great cause and a fun morning.”
Dan Kelly, with his children Devin, 3, and Mairead, 2, agreed with Meurer. “This is a great cause and great thing to do in cold weather. This is also my children’s first movie house experience.”