Students Prep for Mr. Wolverine

EUGENE, Ore. — The Kids Helping Kids pageants raised nearly $400,000 last year, but this year one school hopes to make more than any of the others.

“We have a goal of $50,000, which is the most we would ever have raised at Willamette High School,” said Lanae Gayle, Mr. Wolverine Head Coordinator.

In fact, that would be the most any Kids Helping Kids pageant has raised in the program’s 21 years. It’s an ambitious goal, but this is an ambitious bunch of kids.

“We’re almost 60 people. It’s like coaching both a varsity, JV and freshman team of a sport. There’s a lot to it,” said Tami Jernberg, Mr. Wolverine Adviser.

“It is a lot of work, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” Gayle said.

With less than two weeks to go before the 15 contestants take the stage, it’s crunch time.

“It’s very exciting and it’s very scary,” Jernberg said.

“It is two weeks away, and I would say I am pretty close to being ready. I’m just so nervous, though, because it’s right around the corner,” said Mr. Wolverine contestant Hayden Olma.

Right around every corner at Willamette High School, you’ll see students working on different elements of the pageant.

“It’s going to be crazy. There are going to be lots of last-minute projects we need to take care of, decorations and lots of stuff to wrap up, but it’s the best part of the pageant,” Gayle said.

As dozens of coordinators put their paintbrushes to use in one room, students in another part of the building are just as focused on their brush strokes.

“We’re working on our pottery plates, which we got donated. They’re going to be auctioned off on pageant night so that we can get some more money and raise those last-minute dollars for the Children’s Miracle Network,” Gayle said.

These students have been on the NICU tour. They know the value of every penny. That’s why they’re devoting so much time and energy to perfecting their pageant.

“I’m really looking forward to it. They’ve put a lot of heart into what they’re doing right now,” Jernberg said.

You can see how it all turns out on March 16. But before then, be sure to switch your radio dial to KOOL 99.1 FM this Thursday and Friday. KEZI 9 News taking over the airwaves for the KOOL Cares for Kids Radiothon. You can listen and donate between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

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