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Molalla High School's Share the Love fundraiser once again crushed the record, as the community raised $82,615 to benefit four area families

PIONEER PHOTO: CONNER WILLIAMS - This year, a record $82,615 was raised during the Share the Love fundraiser.

At the close of yet another record-breaking Molalla High School fundraiser to benefit four area families each struggling with disease, Share the Love founder Joe Zenisek, aka Dr. Z, called the students' and community's efforts "extraordinary" and "nothing short of a community miracle." But with a campaign name like "Share the Love" in a town filled with hearts big enough to raise more than $82,000 for the cause, he knew he could ask for more.

"But what about tomorrow?" he said at the closing assembly.

PIONEER PHOTO: CONNER WILLIAMS - Share the Love founder Joe Zenisek offers inspiration at the closing assembly on Feb. 28."Tomorrow the decorative hearts are all going to come down. The Share the Love painting in the front window, it's all going to get washed off. We're going to get back to normal. But I don't think we have to. In fact, I would suggest that we shouldn't and we can't, because like these four families that you've poured your heart out to over the last month, there are people in need right within our community here. It might be you, it might be the person sitting right next to you—people that are suffering in their own way. And even while Share the Love was going on this past month, you've heard in the news about tragedies, teen tragedies, both locally and nationally.

"But you and I can make a difference. Right here. Right now. Today in our school. So I want to challenge you, as I am challenging myself, to take a chance: a chance to share a smile with someone you might otherwise overlook, a chance to reach someone you might otherwise ignore, a chance to make someone feel welcome that you might otherwise shun. I challenge all of us to find ways to keep sharing the love year round…in appropriate ways."

This year's recipients, announced at last month's opening assembly, are: Jill Fredrickson, a mother of two who was diagnosed with terminal stage four metastatic colon cancer in 2014; Timothy and Carolyn Wallace, whose three young children suffer from debilitating allergies; Keith Kapelski, who was recently diagnosed with a rare cancer called sinonasal undifferentiated carcinoma; and Annie Weishan, who was diagnosed with stage three invasive breast cancer.

PIONEER PHOTO: KRISTEN WOHLERS - This year's Share the Love recipients are the Wallace, Kapelski, Fredrickson and Weishan families.

After the unveiling of the massive check, the families had their own chance to share the love with the community of people that blessed them.

"We can't even begin to say how much we thank you all for taking the time that you did and giving up the things that you did to donate to our families," Carolyn said. "We just couldn't be more blessed."

MHS leadership members and seniors John Cross, Gavin Barret and Cole Bauge offered their sentiments as well, saying they will miss Share the Love when they have graduated next year.

PIONEER PHOTO: CONNER WILLIAMS - MHS Campus Monitor Jefferey Hillhouse and Superintendent Tony Mann each ate a whole habanero pepper at the Share the Love closing assembly Feb. 28.But there were added reasons to shed tears (and other bodily fluids) at the closing assembly, as teachers and staff members endured a smidge of torture. Principal Brad Berzinski showed off a double spray tan, math teacher Scott Delmore revealed his Share the Love tattoo and social studies teacher Kurt Hagen modeled as this year's "sexy legs" winner. But Superintendent Tony Mann and MHS Campus Monitor Jefferey Hillhouse took the heat up a notch—they each ate a whole habanero pepper, which is up to 140 times hotter than a jalapeño, according to Hillhouse's Google search. After, Hillhouse shared the habanero love all over the ground outside the gym's back door.

But it was all in good fun and all for this year's families.

"These families have more than just families now, they have a whole community of people willing to open their heart up to them," Barret said at the end of the assembly. "And that is something you will see nowhere else in this nation."

Related - Photos: Share the Love 2018

This year's Share the Love Sponsors

2018 Share the Love logo design: Hailey MacDonald

Fanny Freeze shirt design: Matt Stephens

Molalla River Education Foundation: Share the Love would not be possible without MREF

Diamond level sponsors ($2,000 or more): Molalla ASB/Leadership $24,000, Molalla Key Club $7,383, Molalla ACE Hardware $3,130, Clarke's Grange $3,000, Cindy's Café & Catering $2,590, Molalla FBLA Chapter $2,500, Culture Club $2,100, Molalla FFA Chapter & Alumni $2,000, The Dentist Off Main $2,000, Cowboy Coffee $2,000.

Gold level sponsors ($1,000-$1999): Rustic Shed, El Charrito, Jonnic Construction, Stoneplace Apartments, the Coy family, Molalla Youth Sports, NW Fitness, district office staff (fill the bucket), Molalla River Education Association, Rodan + Fields team Go-Getters, Clarke's Elementary School, I & E Construction.

Silver level sponsors ($400-999): the Lyons family, San Blas, Sheldonoke, Rural Dell Elementary Parents Club, Agnes & Dora by Christine Teigen, Clarke's United Methodist Women, RSG Forest Products, The Road Photography, Muchas Gracias, Jasper's Café, Union Mills Feed, the Swanson family, the Early family, the Ballard family, Family Medical Group of Molalla, Art Club.

Bronze level sponsors ($100-$399): Greentree Consulting, the Rees family, the Barr family, Pheasant Point, Schoenborn Logging, Lehl Disposal, Meng Logging, United Methodist Women, the Kropf family, the Marr family, Snowline Tree Farm, Mt. Hope Farms, Pip's Gourmet Dogs & Ice Cream, Cutting Edge Fitness, KAPA Dance Studio, Mill Barn Espresso, the Settje family, LulaRoe Lisa Borowczak, Molalla Bowl, Ms. Tate's class, Renaissance Public Academy, Clackamas Credit Union, The Sandgren family, Luis Mendoza, Hot Shots Espresso, ReMax Home Source, the Hammock family.


Kristen Wohlers
Reporter
503-829-2301
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