Winter Wishes: The Best of RHS

An annual tradition of giving returns on Friday.


Photo by Jackson Bench

Nate Job and Ayden Ruminksi prepare for Winter Wishes 2017.

        Walking into Portable 10 eight days before the Winter Wishes assembly resembled something out of one of those action movies where a group of government officials are crammed into a Pentagon situation room, trying to avert a catastrophe.

        Well, Portable 10 wasn’t exactly like that, nor were they trying to stop a disaster. In fact, they were trying to complete something the exact opposite of a catastrophe.

        Winter Wishes — coming up again this Friday — is a defined cornerstone of Rogers High School. It’s an event just as consistent as the blue camo pants at football games or Senior Sunrise. And there’s a good reason for it.

        As spectators and students, seeing Winter Wishes in fruition up in the Rogers gymnasium, seeing people we know get blessed with gifts in true holiday fashion, is an annual tradition. It’s one of those events that is looked forward to, but it’s difficult to grasp the magnitude of Winter Wishes until you see the preparation in person.

        It’s undoubtedly exciting if not touching to see such a production do so much good to fellow Rams. However, light is rarely shed on the hard working, dedicated people behind the scenes that work tirelessly to make Winter Wishes possible.

        In Portable 10 the week prior, close to 40 students were huddled in groups and hustling around the school to make help make Winter Wishes a success.

        Overseeing this organized chaos is Rogers leadership and Spanish teacher, Brittany Langston.

       “We start talking about it in June or July but we start really pushing to make it happen after Homecoming,” she said.

        Obviously, Winter Wishes requires planning and preciosity, but working on it for over six months just shows how much detail the people behind the scenes put into the event.

        Across the room, several groups were busy at work. One question that is often pondered from spectators at Winter Wishes assemblies is, bluntly, where do all the funds to do so many good deeds come from?

        Nate Job said leadership students go throughout Puyallup to see if local businesses would be willing to donate to the cause. Other school-affiliated programs around Rogers also made considerable donations, and other outsiders just wanting to help Rogers and its students also contributed. It’s leadership’s job to make sure that that money is spent in the most beneficial way possible and they seem to never miss the mark.

        Another popular question is how the recipients of certain Winter Wishes are chosen. Justin O’Neal helped answer that question by saying that, “As a team, we base our decisions off who needs the most support and work from there.”

        O’Neal, along with fellow leadership student Grace Williams, went on to say that Winter Wishes is something that the group as a whole takes considerable pride in. It takes no detective to see the individual investment of all of the students involved have for the project.

        Every student in Portable 10 seemed to be working on something toward the common goal of presenting a successful Winter Wishes. There was a sense of friendship and eagerness to help each other which is perhaps symbolic of the group as whole itself putting forth so much effort to help Rogers.

        Langston said Winter Wishes is important to Rogers because it is “part of Rogers’ legacy and capitalizes on the holiday generosity of others.”

        Williams said Winter Wishes gave Rogers a sense of community, while O’Neal said it was important because it “shows that people care. And that is sheds the status quo of high school being ‘hostile’ or ‘rude’.”

        Their statements couldn’t be any closer to the truth.

        Winter Wishes is as much a satisfying event as it is unifying one. Even if you aren’t receiving a gift from Winter Wishes, as Langston said, nothing encompasses the holiday spirit better than seeing others’ immense generosity play out for fellow Rams.

        The generosity of effort and time put in by Langston and the leadership department must also not be overlooked, as without their dedication and devotion to Rogers, Winter Wishes would not be impossible.

        So as you sit at Winter Wishes on Friday, relishing in the warming holiday atmosphere, take a moment to consider all the energy put in to make it all possible.  

        Langston stated that with this year’s big donations means that they could do a lot more for a lot more people.

        If that doesn’t epitomize the very best of Rogers High School, then what does?