Teacher inspires traditionA tradition of giving is underway at Northwestern High School. DECA students are asking the community to support the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
By: Maria Lockwood, Superior Telegram
A tradition of giving is underway at Northwestern High School. DECA students are asking the community to support the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Their “Just Dance for MDA” silent auction fundraiser kicked off Tuesday at the school. Through Jan. 18, they will be highlighting auction items during home basketball games and giving everyone a chance to show off their dance moves.
“I think it’s important to all of us to help the community and raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association,” said David Rautio, a sophomore who is heading the project with senior Travis Listing and fellow sophomore Amanda Ogren.
The MDA is a nonprofit health agency dedicated to curing muscular dystrophy, ALS and related diseases, and supporting those with the diseases.
This year, the fundraiser has a deeper meaning to them. A retired teacher from the district, Nancy Homan, was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS) last year.
“She came to my house and babysat me before,” Ogren said.
“Our family knows them too,” Listing said.
And the students all knew her as a teacher.
In past years, the DECA group has found inspiration from an Northwestern alum, Jarrett Tuura, who has muscular dystrophy. Tuura graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stout this spring with a bachelor’s degree in manufacturing engineering. The Brule man earned the MDA personal achievement award in 2010; he hopes to develop products to help others with disabilities.
While Tuura’s story touched everyone at the high school, Listing said, Homan’s affects the whole area. She taught for 36 years and impacted the lives of hundreds of children as a fifth and sixth grade teacher at Poplar Elementary and Northwestern Middle schools.
Manning the fundraiser table during every home basketball game is a challenge in logistics for the three organizers.
“They do it at the girls’ basketball games,” Ogren said. “I play in the basketball game.” The sophomore also snowboards and plays volleyball.
Rautio competes in cross country and track, and serves as sophomore class president.
Listing is a Superior Days delegate and member of the quiz bowl team. All three are part of the school’s leadership group.
Getting the trio together is difficult, but the games are a big part of the community and offer a lot of visibility.
“Parents, grandparents, everybody comes to basketball games,” Listing said.
The dance-themed fundraiser coincides with the release of the “Just Dance 4” game by Ubisoft. It celebrates movement, something that people without MDA take for granted.
Listing said during half time of the games, the DECA students play screen captures of some of the routines from previous “Just Dance” games so people can “karaoke dance.”
The silent auction table will be set up at Northwestern High School 5:45-8 p.m. on Dec. 13, 14 and 18 and Jan. 8, 10 and 11. Potential bidders can also get a list of items available, send a bid for a select item, check what the current bid is and find out if they are the high bidder by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Items include a Packers football, art prints from B.E.A.N. Studios, Oulu Glass work, candles, salon products from Hair Tactics and many gift certificates.
There is still time to donate items to the silent auction, as well. To do so, contact Forsythe at 715-363-2434, ext. 2059 or by email.