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Students Present Check To Make-A-Wish Foundation

December 7, 2018

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After announcing their partnership with Kerrville-Tivy High School student Zackary Reyna, 18, to collect letters to Santa for Macy’s Believe Campaign, the TLU National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS) were invited to present a check and the 1,020 letters they gathered to the  Make-A-Wish® Foundation on December 7. 

After being diagnosed with an inoperable brain aneurysm in 2007 and given only one year to live, Reyna was granted his wish of riding every ride at Disney World in 2010. Since then, he has been paying it forward and raising money for kids with critical illnesses.

Not only did TLU NSLS bring more than 1,000 letters from the campus community, NSLS President-elect Porfirio Dubon's family foundation matched the gift giving a total of $2,040 to Macy's Believe Campaign. NSLS President Katie Gatto ’19 first heard about Reyna's efforts from a family friend and led this project to help Reyna meet his goal of gathering more than 54,000 letters. This year, Reyna gathered 104,069 letters and raised $209,158 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation on Macy’s National Believe Day. For every letter received, Macy's matched $1 and actually doubled the amount on December 7 as part of "Believe Day."

"I went to the elementary school that Zach had attended to drop the letters off with the teacher that I knew and when I told them TLU had collected 1,020 letters they were all on the verge of tears," Gatto said. "The school secretary knew Zach and his mother so she made a phone call and got them to come to the school to surprise them with TLU's efforts for Zack's letter campaign. We got some of the leadership students from Tom Daniels Elementary School to help present all our letters when Zack and his mom got there. I also got to present the Dubon Family Foundation check to their family and they were beyond grateful. On behalf of Tom Daniels Elementary and the Reyna family, I was asked to extend a big thank you to everyone and all the work done to make this such a success. We've already been asked to participate next year as well."

Kerrville Teen Zackary Reyna raised more than $200,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation this December. 

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