Deer Creek High School and the Deer Creek Student Council raised the roof when their total of $187,312 was revealed during their Wonderful Week of Fundraising (WWF) assembly March 6. The money raised went to the OU Children’s Hospital to help expand their outreach to local families. Chairs for WWF were Caleb Olson and Gracie Pitt.
The charity selection goes through three rounds.
“We have on average about 40 (non-profits) which apply, then the chairs narrow it down to six or seven to discuss with Student Council officers,” Pitt said. “Then the top three organizations are presented to the student council membership and the group votes.”
This year when K-Club came to present it was evident almost immediately that they would be our charity, Olson said.
“While we loved all of them, and every cause is so worthy, the emotion from Keaton's mom and dad telling his story was palpable,” Olson said. “Before the end of their presentation to the class, everybody was crying. We also thought the message of ‘kindness matters’ would be a great message for Deer Creek students to hear.”
The students did not work directly with the children this year as they were protecting their medical privacy, Pitt said.
“We did lLEGO drives to directly help throughout the year and invited several of them to our closing assembly,” Pitt said. “The student body got to hear them speak about K-Club, watch them ring the bell, and they were a part of the reveal.”
The recipient of the students efforts was the K Club, where funds raised went to the local pediatric cancer research throughout the Children’s Hospital Foundation as they spread Keaton Lucas Barron’s mission of kindness, courage, compassion and caring to children fighting cancer and their families. The money raised purchased more K-packs, care packages for kids confined to the hospital, and to redo the kids’ lounge at OU Children’s.
“It’s hard to process exactly what happened today,” said Luke and Molly Barron, Keaton’s parents. “An incredible group of kids who heard Keaton’s story about six months ago joined together with parents, teachers, friends and the community to raise $187,312 for a kindness club founded by a seven year old. We are completely honored, humbled and thrilled that Deer Creek Student Council put their trust in us and for all that the future holds for the K Club.”
His parents shared the story of Keaton on his website. How does one describe the best person he or she has ever known? Keaton Lucas was born on March 21, 2010. He was the sweetest baby — always happy, laid-back, and full of joy.
As a toddler, Keaton was an “old soul” who loved Mickey Mouse, the Oklahoma City Thunder, and the OSU Cowboys. After a few unexplained illnesses, his parents took him to the doctor and heard the words no parent ever wants to hear, “It looks like leukemia.” Keaton was rushed to OU Children’s Hospital and began treatment immediately.
For three and a half years, Keaton battled this disease and successfully finished chemotherapy on Dec. 27, 2015. However, he relapsed on March 22, 2016, and relapsed again on July 18, 2017. He fought hard, taking every medication and following every order given by his doctors who worked so hard to try and save him.
Throughout his five and a half years of chemotherapy, radiation, t-cell therapy and more, Keaton remained positive, agreeable, hilarious and sweet. He always put others ahead of himself and fought with grace and courage, never complaining about the countless hospital and clinic visits or missing out on so many life experiences because of his illness. Keaton was a shining example of what it means to live with kindness, courage, compassion and care for others every single day.
Keaton passed away at home on May 11, 2018. He touched many lives, taught others about faith, hope, and never giving up, and leaves a legacy that his family and friends hope to share for years to come.
Keaton’s Kindness Foundation is a 501(c)3, and all donations are tax deductible and greatly appreciated. It is our goal to continue Keaton’s mission of kindness, courage, compassion, and caring while fighting for a cure for pediatric cancer so that no child has to suffer as Keaton did and no family has to lose a precious son or daughter.
Deer Creek students raised money through eating at Chili’s, The Garage, and Louie’s where a portion of the proceeds benefitted WWF which benefits K Club in helping kids fighting cancer. Proceeds will help purchase a LEGO set for a child fighting cancer, or buy a gift for a breakout party for a child who completed a stem cell transplant, or cover the cost of a child’s funeral.
Deer Creek Middle School crushed their $10,000 goal by raising $12,438.90. LEGO PARTY DAY the students gave away more than 6,800 Lego bricks to children who are ill.