Students warm up for Bulldog Doernbecher Challenge March 6
Woodburn High School's Mr. and Ms. Bulldog pageant has a new name, but it still has the same purpose of raising money for Doernbecher Children's Hospital.
The Woodburn Bulldog Challenge, which is set for March 6 in the high school lectorium, is still a pageant event, with categories for talent, casual and formal wear, and a question-and-answer session, but the title was changed to allow more students to get involved.
"We wanted to make sure to promote inclusivity," Pedro Coronado, a senior at Woodburn Arts and Communications Academy said. "So there's no gender tied to it. That way it doesn't always have to be a guy and a girl, but it can be two guys or two girls."
Success High School is the only school to take up that option, with two girls competing to be crowned the Bulldog Challenge winners. Their counterparts at the other four high schools are boy-girl teams, having been seniors selected by teachers and administrators, whose fundraising efforts also count toward their points at the end of the pageant event.
But the glory of the Bulldog crown isn't why these youths get involved.
"We're contributing to the kids because they're the future," said Success senior Arianna Guzman.
It's this goodwill that gets local adults and businesses involved in sponsoring the event: TJ Maxx Woodburn is providing casual wear, David's Bridal and Men's Warehouse provide formal wear, and the group is also supported by Shawn Lott, from Woodburn Vision Source, and Kim Dennis, with nutrition services at the school district.
The group visited the children's hospital earlier this month.
"We got to see different things about the hospital and learn new things, like how they have a service dog," said WACA senior Bianca Gudino.
For some, the fundraising is personal. Sharon Escobar, who will represent Wellness, Business and Sports School, had a blood clot her freshman year and spent the night at Doernbecher. Since then, she still has a checkup there every six months.
"I want to help them like they helped me," she said.
So she and WeBSS teammate Logan Carlin have started raising money by partnering with local businesses and starting a competition between classes in their school.
Similarly, WACA's team of Coronado and Gudino is doing business partnerships but is also raising money by holding a talent show. Academy of International Studies students Ruby Martinez and Vladimir Arellano are hosting a dodgeball tournament, a 5K and a penny drive. The main fundraiser for the Success duo, made up of Guzman and Juleiby Aguirre, was surprising seniors at local retirement homes with Valentine's Day greetings. And at Woodburn Academy of Art, Science and Technology, the fundraising team of Uriel Cruz and Amy Gutierrez is raising money for teacher dares. For example, if students reach a certain goal, their teacher will do something like shave their head.
The goal is for each school to raise $2,000, or a combined $10,000. Last year's donation amount was $7,100. Since starting eight years ago, the pageant has raised nearly $40,000.
The Bulldog Doernbecher Challenge will be at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 6 in the WHS lectorium. Admission is $3 and goes toward Doernbecher Children's Hospital.
You can also donate to the cause by writing a check out to the school of your choice and sending it to Woodburn High School, 1785 N. Front St., Woodburn, OR 97071.
• Team WACA: Pedro Coronado and Bianca Gudino
• Team WAAST: Uriel Cruz and Amy Gutierrez
• Team AIS: Ruby Martinez and Vladimir Arellano
• Team WeBSS: Sharon Escobar and Logan Carlin
• Team Success: Juleiby Aguirre and Arianna Guzman.