KAYSVILLE -- This project turned out even better than expected.
Twelve-year-old Tim Wright, a student from a school in an entirely different district, smiled ear-to-ear while sitting on the Davis High School bench during a basketball game, and suddenly everyone else in the gym was smiling too.
"It made us feel like our work made a difference, and that was the goal," said Kate Simpson, a 16-year-old junior at Davis High School.
Kate was one of three students, along with Breanna Barton and Lauren Underwood, to head up a project to help Tim Wright's wish come true.
Besides giving Tim the opportunity to have such a special night, the group raised enough money to give him a chance to perform barrel rolls in an L-39 fighter jet, something he had always dreamed of doing.
Tim and his family traveled to California, where he got to be a copilot in an L-39 at Van Nuys Airport, just outside of Los Angeles.
"That was so much fun," said Tim, who is in seventh grade at Fort Herriman Middle School. "I even got my own flight suit. I have it downstairs in my room. It says, 'Tim Wright, U.S. Air Cadet' on it."
Each year, business club students at Davis High School choose someone from the Make-A-Wish list to be the beneficiary of their yearlong fundraising efforts. Last year, they raised money for Madey Slaughter, a 15-year-old Fairfield Junior High School student.
This year, after looking over the list, they chose Tim. Kate pointed out a couple of similarities between the two.
"He has the same type of cancer as Madey had, and he likes basketball. So did Madey."
Tim's mother, Amanda, said Tim was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma on Jan. 14, 2011. He had six rounds of chemotherapy before his Van Ness rotation-plasty surgery on May 3. During that surgery, doctors removed part of Tim's left leg, just above the knee.
Since the surgery, Tim has undergone eight more rounds of chemotherapy, with the last one on Oct. 1. He currently is in remission and getting used to his prosthetic leg.
"This whole experience is humbling because you realize that there are people out there who do really care and want to help you," Amanda Wright said. "It was an amazing experience to see the love and support. They were really excited for Tim to go on this trip. They had so much love for him without even knowing him, and that's a wonderful feeling."
The experience helped the students as well.
Kate said the group ultimately planned to do all the fundraising through social media marketing by using Facebook, Twitter and the group's own website. Then they had people donate money by texting a key word to a specific number.
"We had to figure out how to get things to work," Breanna said. "Because we were using social media, we had to figure out how to make them work. We hadn't used social media in that way to raise money."
The students designed their own marketing plan, which proved to be successful.
"It's always exciting seeing them work and use what they learned in marketing," said Jeff McCauey, Davis High marketing teacher. "It's even more positive when you have a student with no connection with Davis High School."