Granting Wishes this February

Rocky joined Make-A-Wish Colorado last week to help Emmalese meet Ariana Grande! Here is how Wish Week 2023 went:


Student Council and Emmalese pose after the assembly.

Last week Rocky sponsored a 14-year old girl named Emmalese Schultz through Make-A-Wish Colorado. Emmalese is battling leukemia, but keeps her spirits high through her passions of singing, dancing, and cheerleading. The Rocky community helped celebrate Emmalese and her journey at the Wish Week assembly last Friday, and it was incredible. It was a day all about her, and a great way to finish up a week of raising money through countless fundraisers, raffles, and activities to help grant her wish of meeting Ariana Grande. 


Tyler Nickel, Assistant Principal, Activities Director, and leader of the Wish Week Team described the assembly as “built around what Emmalese loves and we honored her with everything that was done.” 


The assembly began with Delaney Matkin, Co-Student Body President, introducing one of our top choirs, Prima Voce, to sing the national anthem. Directed by Chris Thompson, the treble choir gave a beautiful performance and started the assembly off right. Emmalese and her family were brought in and escorted to their seats on the floor, and joined by all of the students on the Wish Week Committee. 


The head emcees of Friday’s assembly were Nora McCance and Cameron Gartzka. Their job was to keep the program flowing and get the crowd engaged. They succeeded with this right from the start with a very exciting Fifty Dollar Friday. Our winner was Jett Neilson, who showed out in his Wish-Week T-Shirt. He won an additional $50 for his homeroom class’ Wish Week fund. As soon as we finished up with the traditional beginning to a Rocky assembly, we started to get to know Emmalese. 


Emmalese is one of the bravest and most talented young women I have ever met. Without even needing to prove it, she still blew the house down by singing “Sometimes” by Ariana Grande for the entire school. Everybody loved it, and she was awarded a standing ovation twice during the song.


“I am so glad to be here and sing for you guys,” Emmalese said.


The assembly continued with an incredible surprise for Emmalese and the student body. Two Broncos cheerleaders, McKenna and Sha’uri, made a special appearance to meet Emmalese and shower her with attention, pictures, autographs, and gifts. RMHS cheer put on a great performance, as well as our very talented dance team. These girls brought the energy and engaged the crowd through some of Emmalese’s interests. 


The teachers and students also participated in the assembly through a series of games and dances created by Student Council.  Mr. Knierim, Mrs. Weeks, Officer Klich, Mr. Wells, Noah, and Ruben competed in an Ariana Grande lip-sync battle. While all of them entertained the crowd, Sarah Klich was named the winner. She even sang part of her song without the music, and went above and beyond by wearing a sassy fake ponytail. 


Students were randomly selected from the crowd to quickly learn group dances and perform them at the assembly. Currie Zafarana and Hadley Newcomer sponsored Team 1, while Caroline Hartman and Ben Harding led Team 2. Team 2 got an overwhelming ovation, and Emmalese chose them as the winners.


After the games finished up, representatives from Scheels, Dutch Bros, and The Make a Wish Foundation spoke and threw out some merch to the crowd. They were a big part of the fundraising process and the assembly gave them the opportunity to be recognized and thanked. 


The assembly closed with a heartwarming speech from Hannah, one of the women who works with Make-A-Wish Colorado and helped to sponsor Emmalese in her wish. She shared stories from other Rocky students who had struggled with illness and offered inspiration to us all. 


“Wish week meant the world to me. I love the idea of all Lobos coming together to support an individual and a nonprofit that brings so much joy to the lives of families that have gone through unimaginable suffering,” said Jessica Stelzer, Student Council sponsor. “I’m proud of our community for coming together to support Emmalese and others like her.”


As the last assembly before convocation, Rocky really went all out and touched every person in attendance. The assembly was both moving and fun at the same time, and it was obvious that Emmalese and her family were incredibly appreciative of the love and support we gave them this week. It was a great reminder of how much we can do when we come together, and the Rocky family did just that.

Emmalese spoke to so many students and staff after the assembly and got to feel the love from us up close. 


The final words from Emmalese and her family were, “Thank you so much, Rocky, for everything you guys have done.”