With Lilypad Project, Kelly Walsh students deploy their talents to cheer up sick kids

*(Casper, Wyo.) -* What does it take to lift the spirits of a kid in the hospital? A one-eyed wink from Mike Wazowski? A nasally giggle from a groveling minion? A peek-a-boo wave from the Cat in the Hat? Thanks to several talented Kelly Walsh High School students, the pediatric nurses Wyoming Medical Center can deploy any of these characters to cheer up a boy or girl who’s feeling under the weather. The students made seven “lily pads” that will rest at the bottom of our wheeled IV poles, sturdy enough for the children to sit on and take a ride. “It will be a fun motivation to help get our patients out of bed,” said Kate Buffa, the pediatric nurse who got the project rolling. “They can get a little down in the hospital.” Buffa got the idea from watching a video about a similar project on her Facebook feed. She contacted Lucas Dow, Kelly Walsh woodshop teacher, and asked if he could make the wooden platforms. Dow recruited a couple of his students and then reached out to the Kelly Walsh art department. “I thought it was a great idea,” said Traci Kennedy, Kelly Walsh art teacher whose independent study students painted a lion’s share of the lily pads. “The kids who will get to use these, it’s just a bright spot in their day. For the students, it’s a chance to give back to their community and to show their talents.” The lily pads were delivered to Wyoming Medical Center on Tuesday. ​ ​Here’s a look at the Kelly Walsh all stars. We can’t thank you enough: TYLER GALLEGOS AND GARRETT HODECKER Woods teacher Lucas Dow recruited the two seniors to help construct the lily pads using reclaimed wood. They sawed it into pieces, used a compass to pencil out the shape, cut them, routed them and delivered them to the art department for painting. “It’s cool that this is a joint effort between woodshop and art,” Gallegos said. Hodecker agreed: “I think it’s pretty sweet. I had a cousin who was in the hospital for a long time in Denver. I’d send him little trinkets from woodshop and he thought it was the greatest thing ever. It feels great to do this for our own hospital and help our community.” ​MULLEN APPLEGATE, SHAELYN MOORE-HYTREK AND MADELEINE WALOCK Painting three fish on a wooden slab doesn’t seem like a lot, said Applegate, a junior. “But it will help a lot. A lot of projects I’ve done this year are for myself or for the art department. This is actually for people who need it, so it’s been more emotionally driven.” Moore-Hytrek worked on a sort of an “I Spy” for the Dr. Suess world complete with the Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham, Horton and the Lorax. She wanted to make a game out of a ride on the lily pad where kids can pick out their favorite Suessian character: ​CIANNA RAINES AND HUNTER HOUG Cianna, a senior, thought about what she liked when she was a kid to come up with her design —a fire-breathing dragon and a castle floating amongst the clouds. “I think it’s an incredible opportunity. This project means something. It’s not just for a grade,” she said. “My sister had leukemia for a really long time, but she beat it. She overcame. So I think it’s really cool to help out with this project.” RAYNE HAMM AND HANNAH THOMPSON Thompson, a junior, knows what it’s like to be in the hospital. She was attack by a dog as a little girl and was transported to Denver. “A lot of kids who are sick, or hurt, can get down and depressed. Having something fun in their life – like a cute little Minion to sit and drive around on – could help the feel better.” On their lily pad, she and Hamm sketched a minion, everyone’s favorite big-eyed evil servants from the popular children’s movies. “I think it will make a visit to the hospital a lot more enjoyable,” agreed Hamm, a sophomore. “It will bring big smiles to kids’ faces.” ​ #wmc #news #oilcity