The Make a Wish club works toward helping kids with cancer


Lots of people want to help kids with cancer in any way they can. Ashlee Dunn is one such person. For her, it started when a close family-friend of hers was diagnosed when he was two years old.

“I really wanted to start a club that could make a difference, and the first thing that came to my mind was people suffering from cancer. This really hit home with me because there are a couple people in my family who suffer from it,” Dunn said

Her main goal is to raise awareness and show the daily struggles that people with cancer go through, as well as their families and friends.

“There is so much extra stress added on the parents and family members and even with just raising a little money for them to give their child a sense of hope can change their outlook on life, and make them feel like they can still have fun and be like other kids,” Dunn said.

“I’ve always told myself I need to join or commit to at least one club a year, but this year I just decided to run one instead. I wanted to create a club that I felt really passionate about that could make a difference. I want to give kids the hope they needed to make it through hard times and let them enjoy life a little by distracting them from their illness and miserable treatments with wishes granted, even if that means it’ll take awhile,” Dunn said.

This is her first year running the club, Make a Wish, at Whitney High. The club meets every Friday at lunch, in room D10.

“At Club Rush, over 50 people signed up. I felt like some people signed up purely because they didn’t want to be that one kid who didn’t sign up for the cancer club, but that’s not what I wanted. As long as they came to our booth and acknowledged that we were doing a good thing, that was enough. Now we have 15 people or less, but I’m hoping I can incorporate more fun activities to draw more people in. During our first annual potluck, the room was full. I’ve found that free food can motivate a teenager to do pretty much anything,” Dunn said.

She hopes that this year’s test run will prepare her for if she does end up continuing to run the the club next year, because she feels that she’s learned what engages people to make them come to the club: food.

“I elected people with big hearts, who I knew could commit and would be there to support me every step of the way for me. Even when it was first kicking it off and not many people came, they were still there, for the kids,” Dunn said.

“One regret I have it not being consistent with the meetings. I find it hard to juggle schoolwork, two jobs, and a social life but I still want to make time to help, because that’s what is important,” Dunn said.

She personally does not know any of the people involved in the foundation, but she has talked to a few over the phone for permission to run the club at Whitney and permission to use their names and logo for fundraisers.

She never had any trouble of thinking up fundraisers, because she feels that there are plenty out there. For her, the biggest hardship would be all the steps involved after you pick the event, such as getting it approved by the school, finding people to volunteer, and dates that work for everyone.

“So far we’ve had one fundraiser through Disney, where every picture someone posted on Instragram or Facebook wearing Mickey Ears, $5 was raised and put towards a wish and given directly to the foundation,” Dunn said.

The club were not selected a specific kid to donate to, so they have been donating to the foundation. She believes that if they were to pick a kid and raise money for them, it would make the donation process more personal. She feels that if she ends up deciding to keep the club running next year, that that will be a goal for her and the club as a whole.

“As for right now, I don’t know what next year will bring. It really just depends, I’ll be in my senior year and I’ll really need to focus on college admissions, where I want to go, etc. But I don’t see why not,” Dunn said. 

Her hope is to end the school year with a big bang and do a huge fundraiser involving the Rocklin Community. She believes that with the right people and support, they will be able to pull it off.