By: Suzie Glassman/NewsBreak Denver
(Castle Rock, CO) Chaparral High School students transformed their hallways into a scene straight out of a fairy tale to welcome 7-year-old Aria Stadler, who has congenital heart disease.
Aria’s week-long visit included sing-a-longs, movies, and tea parties with students, teachers, and staff as part of the high school’s Wish Week. Wish Week is an annual event where students at each of DougCo’s high schools choose a child with an illness and raise money to grant their wish through the Make a Wish Foundation.
Dressed in a princess costume, Aria played games and sang along to her favorite songs with the entire school. She wishes to go to Disney World and meet each Disney princess.
“There’s not many kids who you can look at and say that is a really kindhearted kid immediately, and she’s one of those kiddos that when you look at her, you know she’s a good kid,” said junior Hailey Rodgers, who dressed as Rapunzel in the school’s Wish Week video.
Julie Stadler, Aria’s mom, said the week had been emotional and overwhelming in the best way possible.
“It’s been a week where we got to focus solely on Aria in a good way. Instead of hospital visits and doctor stuff, it’s about her meeting the kids at Chaparral, having fun with the princesses, singing and dancing, and just loving life this week,” said Aria’s dad Andrew.
“I love you, Chaparral,” said Aria. “You’re the best.”
Chaparral students visited feeder schools to host fundraising events, like a pie-in-the-face contest at Sierra Middle School. Their efforts were incredibly successful.
At a recent board of education meeting, Erin Kane, DougCo superintendent, announced that Chaparral High School and the community of Parker raised an impressive $107,554.28. The total granted Aria’s wish and those of 14 other children.