Homecoming traditionally is a time when a school celebrates its sense of community. At Mount Paran Christian School, alumni are welcomed home, students engage in class competitions, spirit week themes build school comradery, the homecoming court adds a spark of elegance, and the football game brings everyone out to celebrate together as a school family.
This year, MPCS brought even more meaning to homecoming when the football team created a special fundraiser in honor of one of their biggest fans. Stetson Ely, 4, the son of Matt Ely, one of the varsity football coaches, has Angelman syndrome, a rare genetic disorder. The team raised $2,200 for the Angelman Syndrome Foundation.
Although the disease makes walking difficult for Stetson, he is determined to make it wherever he wants to be, and that place often is amid the colossal young men on the football team. As a result of Stetson’s strong spirit and his love for the team, senior Jackson Reese and the team decided to sell “Stetson Strong” T-shirts.
Proceeds went to the Angelman Foundation for research, support, education and therapy. The focus on Stetson added an important element to the week’s activities. The week was not just about costumes and dressing up for a special dance. Students witnessed a group in the MPCS community interested in reaching out to help someone in need. They developed a plan and made it happen.
The MPCS community proudly wore the shirts for Stetson to the homecoming football game on Oct. 27. MPCS rallied around little Stetson and his family and continues to lift them up in prayer.
By Jennifer Bonn