Junior Sophie Sun takes part in a campaign called “Students of the Year,” a seven-week competition where teams create a fundraiser to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Sun and co-candidate Sara Tamayo lead their team, Hopeful Hearts Campaign, consisting of five high school students from the different Shawnee Mission high schools, along with her family.
Sophie first learned about the campaign when she was involved in a club known as “H.O.S.A”, which consists of future medical/health professionals. Along with this, Sun is currently enrolled in Anatomy and her teacher, Mrs. Gandy, is the Medical Science Director of the Medical Science Program at East. Gandy had told Sun’s friend about the campaign and all have been involved so far.
Sun’s team has been coming up with several events to help reach their goal of raising $65,000, like NCAA brackets, where Sophie went through CBS and created a pool called “Hopeful Hearts” and whoever wanted to participate had to pay $5. Other events have been Chipotle Night, Power Life yoga class and the “Dung Drop.”
The events are created to excite, Sun said, but there’s a lot of serious work that goes into planning them. For instance the “Dung Drop” required the team to find a cow, a farm, come up with entertainment when you’re there, paint the grid on the farm and collect donations.
“[The Dung Drop] is where you pay $100 for a square on a farm, and basically wherever the cow poops you get the money,” Sun said. “If you bet on that square that it poops in, you could get $500.”
Until this past week, the team hadn’t had an event and were relying on donations through their website. They traveled to companies and presented to them in hopes of corporate sponsorships, all to collect as much money as they could for the cause.
“Trying to publicize things is really hard,” Sun said. “So if you put it a little later on in the campaign, we hope it generates some people.”
The team held a yoga event at Power Life on March 24 where the “Warrior Werk” class was held for people of all ages. It cost $20 for those over 12 years old and $10 for people under, and all donations went to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. A Power Life Yoga instructor even offered to volunteer and lead the class for them.
Overall there is hope that the team will exceed their goal. They plan on coming up with more events and are looking for new ways to publicize, to get the word out. If you’re wanting to help out or thinking about donating, visit https://events.lls.org/mid/kansascitysoy19/ssunbh.