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Make-A-Wish

Maddison Mahlum, then a Kelly Walsh High School senior, cheers as a band takes the stage in May during Rodstock. The all-day music festival, which began in 2009, has raised tens of thousands of dollars for Make-A-Wish Wyoming in recent years.

Led by Natrona County High, more than 600 Wyoming high school students will descend on Casper streets next week to raise money for the local Make-A-Wish Foundation.

The event is part of the Wyoming Association of Student Councils’ annual conference, which is being held in Casper, said Tess Mittelstadt, Make-A-Wish Wyoming’s development director. It will work similar to fundraisers held by boot-wielding firefighters going car to car. Roughly 50 groups of students will spread out across Casper on Nov. 12 from 1 to 4 p.m. and collect money from people “out and about,” Natrona County High adviser Brian Sanders said.

A large group of students will be spread out around downtown, with more at Casper’s two Walmarts, various grocery stores and other areas, Sanders said.

The goal is to raise enough money to grant one wish — about $8,000, Mittelstadt said. The foundation raises money to grant requests for severely ill children in Wyoming. Mittelstadt said the fundraiser was another opportunity for Wyoming residents to support Wyoming children.

“I love the idea of people giving the change they have in their car because it takes so many people to reach that $8,000 mark,” she said. “Not only that, but it takes that many people to think what we’re doing is worthwhile.”

Casper’s high schools have been raising money for Make-A-Wish for years, steered by student leaders from Natrona County and Kelly Walsh. Mittelstadt said Natrona County’s efforts have varied from students sitting on a rooftop until a fundraising goal was met to kids standing on street corners.

Kelly Walsh students host a student music festival each spring to raise money for the foundation.

Sanders said Natrona County students talked about holding the event over the summer.

“The community of Casper is just so good at giving back to Casper,” he said. “We just thought this would be a great thing for us to do. ... Hope people will be generous, help us out, help us grant a wish. If we’re lucky, maybe two wishes.”

Follow education reporter Seth Klamann on Twitter @SethKlamann

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Education and Health Reporter

Seth Klamann joined the Star-Tribune in 2016 and covers education and health. A 2015 graduate of the University of Missouri and proud Kansas City native, Seth worked for newspapers in Milwaukee and Omaha before coming to Casper.

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