The Edmond Sun

March 15, 2013

SLIDESHOW: Star Boars: May the Pork Be With You!

Memorial students raise $353,011 for Limbs for Life

Patty Miller
The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — As Memorial High School students reached their goal raising money for a good cause, an old tradition was revisited with the principal kissing a pig.

Students, alumni and family members poured into the gymnasium Friday as the last dare and auctions of Swine Week took place. This year’s theme was “May the Pork Be With You.”

Student Council sponsor Josh DeLozier took on a second job as an auctioneer helping students inch their total past the $350,000 goal they had set for themselves to raise. The proceeds went to the nonprofit organization Limbs for Life.

Following the assembly Limbs for Life Board President Erik Salazar said, “The Board of Limbs for Life is over the moon excited about how many lives will be changed from all of the wonderful efforts of EMHS. I thank you Edmond Memorial for an amazing experience and the amputees thank you also.”

Fundraising activities held throughout the year included Swine Week Charity Open, Wine Tasting, Garage Sale, Bar-B-Cue and Auction, Powder-Puff football, Kidzapalooza, the first Hog Jog 5K Run (in place of Running of the Pigs), Blacklight Dance, first Pig Pen Food Fight and Act 2 Benefit Concert.

Dares were held during the week and baked goods were sold.

Friday gold fish were swallowed, and parents took over the auction paying the highest prices ever for a throw made from T-shirts worn this school year selling for $5,000 to John and Ann Hayes and their daughter and son-in-law, Melinda and Sean O’Brien. Melinda is a 1988 Memorial graduate and Sean is a 1985 graduate. The throw was purchased for their daughter, Hanna Felder, who was one of the senior royalty raising money. The last Swine Week parking place sold to Stacy Lorentz so her daughter Abby, who will be a senior next year, will always have a prime parking spot no matter how late she is to school.

Art teacher Liz Parham followed the tradition of making a ceramic piggy bank. This year a pig with a Darth Vader hat was coming out of a Death Star, a symbol of the forces of evil. The bank sold for $8,000, the biggest chunk of change any piggy bank has ever commanded in the more than 30-year tradition of Swine Week.

There were a lot of firsts in addition to the prices paid at the Friday auction.

The Swine Week Bar-B-Que and Silent and Live Auction brought in the most bacon ever with the total raised passing $46,800, followed by the Golf Tournament tapping $15,807 and the Hog Jog capturing $12,740 of the day’s total.

The sophomore class surprised the crowd with their total of $13,100, and sophomore Macy Boatright, who raised the most money of all the royalty, donated the iPad she won to Limbs for Life.  

After the total was revealed, Sara Hollis told the audience it is not about raising $350,000, but it is about changing people’s lives.

Limbs for Life is based in Oklahoma City’s Bricktown but helps amputees all across the United States, but mainly in Oklahoma City and Dallas.

“We help an average of 600 amputees each year,” Salazar said.

Through the work of the Sabolich family and Scott Sabolich with Scott Sabolich Prosthetics & Research, prosthetics are available for Limbs for Life at about 10 cents on the dollar, Salazar said.

Doug Brooks, a Limbs for Life recipient, told the students when he lost his leg in an accident he found himself in a dark place and always very sad.

“I was short of confidence and didn’t consider myself a whole man.” After receiving a prosthetic he said he realized losing a limb doesn’t mean life is over.

“Never put a period where God intended a comma,” Brooks told the students.

The price of a full limb can cost between $25,000 and $35,000, and following the prosthetic being made, components must be kept up.

The nationwide average for above-knee prosthesis is $16,500 and $7,000 for below-knee prosthesis. The foundation can provide above-knee prosthesis for $2,000 and below-knee prosthesis for $1,500. This low cost is achieved because prosthetic care facilities donate their labor and the foundation provides components that are donated by manufacturers. The foundation also distributes an average of $3 million worth of prosthetic limbs to clinics in developing countries each year.

“I applaud students at all three of our Edmond high schools,” said Superintendent David Goin. “Their commitment of time, energy and effort to focus upon the support of others is so impressive. Their amazing selflessness and the enthusiasm they radiate in supporting causes beyond themselves inspire our entire Edmond community to a higher level of care and compassion for our neighbors.

“Considering the significance of life lessons taught and learned through these efforts, I’d say, as our 22-month-old granddaughter does when she’s really excited about something, ‘That’s crazy awesome!”   

In the past three years of fundraising, Memorial students have raised $1,021,612.

Swine Week Chairs this week included MacKenzie Burger, Cole Brown and Alex Wileman.