Making it happen

Make-A-Wish Foundations grants wishes to two Liberty students

Students+and+staff+watched+the+Make+a+Wish+Foundation+grant+two+wishes+to+Liberty+students+at+a+surprise+assembly+Thursday%2C+Oct.+27.+
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Making it happen

Students and staff watched the Make a Wish Foundation grant two wishes to Liberty students at a surprise assembly Thursday, Oct. 27.

Students and staff watched the Make a Wish Foundation grant two wishes to Liberty students at a surprise assembly Thursday, Oct. 27.

Students and staff watched the Make a Wish Foundation grant two wishes to Liberty students at a surprise assembly Thursday, Oct. 27.

Students and staff watched the Make a Wish Foundation grant two wishes to Liberty students at a surprise assembly Thursday, Oct. 27.

Chasteanne Salvosa and Olivia Holler

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Kris shares an emotional exchange a family member as he is granted his wish

Kristopher Smith-Wilson shares an emotional exchange his family as he is granted his wish to Iceland.

There were many rumors going around school this week about what the Thursday surprise assembly was about from Greek Fire to Mr. Eldredge’s cousin, country singer Brett Eldredge, coming to perform. Little did we know our hearts would be touched.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation granted two wishes to two students, sophomore Gabe Scalise and junior Kristopher Smith-Wilson in front of the student body and faculty in the gym. Kristopher’s wish was to go see the Northern Lights in Iceland and Gabe’s wish was to go to Hawaii.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation grants wishes to kids every year who are diagnosed with life-threatening diseases.  They have

Gabe Scalise shares his wish. He is excited to go to Hawaii next winter.

Gabe Scalise shares his wish with students and staff alongside his parents. He is excited to go to Hawaii next winter.

granted in Missouri more than 6,000 wishes since 1993 and this year they have granted 329.

A lot of planning and organizing went into getting the students’ wishes to be perfect.

Jeff Etter is the wish granter and has been coordinating this effort with Gabe and Kristopher’s parents and enjoyed getting to know the family and the students’ dreams and wishes.

“We have been working and planning a lot for this for quite some time,” Etter said. “They have been tremendous having to deal with the aspect of a wish and what they are going through, very understanding and very supportive.”

He has known Kristopher’s family about four or five months and Gabe’s for about 10 months.

Not only were the boys’ parents and family supportive, but also the entire school.

“We have nothing but wonderful things to say about Liberty; this school is really incredible,” mother of Gabe Scalise, Jill Scalise, said.

The guest speaker was astonished by the amount of support students gave to the boys.

“I think it’s amazing and neat to see all the students here and just how moved and touched they were to be apart of this experience,” Mark Turnipseed said, who is the Director of Development at Make-A-Wish. “Liberty is still a fairly new school and to have their first wishes granted here it pretty awesome.”

The gym was filled with an indescribable feeling of excitement and shock for the boys and their families as gasps and tears were shared between students and between staff.

“Absolutely in shock how the students took it like they did. I’m happy that the students were so supportive and the parents were able to have people keep it a secret,” said Etter.

Now with this secret revealed, both Gabe and Kristopher are on their way to living out their wish of visiting two beautiful places on Earth.

“I’m excited, nervous and surprised. I think all the time how lucky I am; how blessed. You try your best to get through what you’re going through – I just know I’m very lucky,” Scalise said.

And as for Smith-Wilson, his dream of seeing the northern lights in Iceland with his mother will finally be fulfilled.

“I had a pretty positive attitude during my chemo. It made me think I should really take my opportunities in life seriously,” Smith-Wilson said. “I should always say yes, not matter what, because you never know, – you might not get the chance again.”

As for the rumors which spread around Liberty this past week, though they were wrong, something much better came out of this surprise assembly and two of Liberty’s very own Eagles will be living out their wish.