Love is in the air again at Molalla High
What began with one donation bucket and one teacher in 2001 has grown into a yearly tradition of community members supporting one another through tough times. Even through the challenges Molalla residents have endured in recent years, the community continues to show up and Share the Love.
Molalla High School's annual Share the Love fundraiser is back again. This year, the high school leadership team has selected four local families to support: the Perez-Dorantes family, the Hettingers, the Lowrys and the Calhoons.
"I'm super excited to do it this year," said fundraiser coordinator Amy Wills. "I think the recipients are really going to bring the community to tears when they're able to see their stories."
To kick off fundraising, MHS is hosting its first Food Truck Fair from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 29, at MHS. Amy Wills, a junior and STL coordinator implemented the event this year in hopes that it will grow into one of the biggest draws.
The Feed Shack, Lucy's Tropical Drinks, Beloved Cheesecakes and others will be serving up love on Saturday. This also will be the first chance the public has to purchase their STL gear and support the cause.
Manuela Perez-Dorantes is well-known and loved within the Latino community in Molalla. Four years ago, her daughter and four grandchildren died in a collision with a drunken driver. With the loss of her daughter, Perez-Dorantes also lost the stable income that her daughter provided. She sells traditional Mexican food to the community to make ends meet, but is suffering from kidney failure, diabetes and injuries to her back, hip and ribs. Through all of this, Perez-Dorantes still donates to her church and offers to help the community however she can. Donations will help her cover the cost of hospital bills.
After a head-on collision in 2020 left Fred Hettinger with two broken legs, he has been unable to work as a custodian for the Molalla River School District. Hettinger, a veteran, was described as "the type of man who would give up everything he has to help someone else," in the Share the Love opening video. Hettinger was diagnosed with cancer as well during his hospital stay and is struggling to afford treatments. Donations will help him to cover the cost.
The Lowrys are a local family whose daughter, 13-year-old Myiah Lowry, has Rett syndrome, a neurological disorder that causes a progressive loss of motor and speech abilities. Caretakers must look after Miyah daily, monitoring for seizures and helping to perform day-to-day tasks. To make this job easier, the Lowrys would like to remodel their home, so that Miyah does not have to be carried upstairs. Donations will help fund the renovations.
Tazmyn and Mason Calhoon
Recent MHS graduates Tazmyn and Mason Calhoon have seen major losses over the past few years. Five years ago, their mother died from an ongoing illness. This past August, the siblings lost their grandmother. One month later, their father died from COVID-19. The pair have cognitive and physical disabilities and need financial support. "We need to show them that the world has not turned its back on them," said Van Deren, who narrated the video.
Last year, Share the Love was scaled down a bit due to the pandemic and an ice storm that canceled some fundraising opportunities. Regardless of the circumstances, the community raised over $129,000 for the Marshall, Robles and Laplante families.
This year, though, Share the Love is back with plenty of opportunities to donate. A full list can be found online (linktr.ee/MHSLeadership).
Share the Love's closing assembly will be held on Feb. 18, where the grand total amount raised will be revealed. Stay up to date with STL on Facebook and Instagram.
Ongoing events Jan 28.-Feb. 17
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