When organizers of Ashland High School’s fourth annual Jack Frost Festival couldn’t find a local child for which to raise funds this year, they decided Saturday’s entire haul will go to the neediest group of kids they could fathom — the patients on the ninth floor of Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland.
One of the students in the leadership class responsible for putting on the event knows all too well how desperate for good news ninth-floor patients are, having himself spent plenty of time on the floor reserved for the hospital’s most critical cases. And soon, that student, who wants to remain anonymous, will accompany at least two of his classmates when they hand deliver a check to Doernbecher.
“It’ll be definitely emotional and probably very hard for the student in our class that’s going with us,” AHS sophomore and Jack Frost organizer Rosie Dean said, “and I just … really hope that (the patients) feel better knowing that there are people that know that they need the help and people outside of the hospital that care about them.”
The Jack Frost Festival is scheduled to run from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Ashland High small gym. As in past years, the event, which is staffed by Ashland High’s leadership class, will include carnival-like games, a cakewalk and a silent auction which will feature some pricey items.
Admission is $4, which includes five tickets. Once inside, tickets for games and the cakewalk cost 50 cents each. Pizza and snacks will also be sold, and donations are welcome.
The goal, said organizer and AHS senior class president Evan Mouledoux, is to raise $3,000. Last year, he said, Jack Frost raised between $2,000 and $3,000.
“I’m very pleased with the way things have gone, with the way they went last year,” he said. “I’m very hopeful about this year’s event. The main thing is we just need to get people there now. That’s all that’s left to do and that’s what we’re doing.”
To that end, Mouledoux, Dean and five others in the leadership class who are focusing on the event have advertised using both old school and new school techniques. They’ve organized a social media campaign while also making sure posters for the event were included in packets handed out to Ashland elementary students every Friday. Also, Jack Frost Festival posters have been tacked up downtown.
About 50 to 80 kids attended the festival last year, Mouledoux estimates, and he’s hoping for more this time around.
The silent auction may draw deal-seeking parents, too. Among the items up for bid are a $150 gift card for Escape Ashland, and a one-night stay in the Ashland Hills Hotel.
The festival moves to the small gym after three years in Mountain Avenue Gym, a move that was made in part because the large gym was booked solid for months, Dean said.
Mouledoux estimated that about 20 to 30 students will be on hand to help set up and run the games for the festival, which has been in the planning stages for the last seven weeks.
“People can stop by for the entire time or they can just stop by for a couple minutes and play a few games and maybe bid on a silent auction item,” Mouledoux said. “It’s a nice opportunity mid-day if people want to come out and support this organization which does so much good in Oregon.”
Dean said she’ll be roaming the gym Saturday, helping wherever necessary. She’s doesn’t expect to have any trouble finding things to do.
“I think on (Saturday) I’ll just be going crazy, running around doing everything that needs to be done last-minute,” she said, “but I hope that I will be able to stop somewhere and run a booth for a little bit.”
When asked why she decided to take a leadership role in organizing the festival — it’s a task usually reserved for juniors or seniors — Dean said she felt compelled to pitch in.
“I figured that somebody did need to step up and take that spot,” she said. “And when Jack Frost first started it was for Jack Dorr because he had cancer. He was the son of Trish Dorr, who was my fifth-grade teacher, and so it just felt really close to me and I just figured that I should continue it. It is a great cause.”
Joe Zavala is a reporter for the Ashland Daily Tidings. Reach him at 541-821-0829 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @Joe_Zavala99.