EDMOND — The gymnasium at Edmond Memorial High School was abuzz Friday as students, parents, grandparents and school personnel gathered to celebrate the finale of the fundraiser known as Swine Week.
Student Council sponsor Josh DeLozier didn't shy away from telling the crowd what he needed from them.
“As you know, our goal was to raise $350,000 this year. I'm not going to lie to you — we're not there,” DeLozier said early in the assembly.
Members of the Oklahoman-based nonprofit, Limbs for Life, the charity chosen to receive the funds, sat in the front row.
Student council members rushed through the rows of seats and bleachers to collect all they could in a two-minute “push.” Members of the crowd eagerly reached into their pockets, wallets, purses and backpacks.
“We have a few things to auction off so let's get started,” DeLozier said.
Participants cheered as a quilt made of fundraiser-theme T-shirts sold for $5,000, a reserved school parking space sold for $6,000 and a handcrafted ceramic pig sold for $8,000.
Students from Edmond North and Santa Fe high schools and elementary and middle schools in the district revealed how much they would be pitching in.
Another $45,000 was raised during Friday's assembly, bringing the total to $353,011.
“We're not asking for much, just an arm and a leg,” Limbs for Life Chairman Doug Brooks joked, referring to the charity's motto. Brooks' leg was amputated after he was hit by a car while jogging in Plano, Texas, a few years ago.
“One moment I was a healthy guy training for a marathon, the next I was lying in the street bleeding to death,” he said.
The businessman, husband and father of two said he wondered if he would lose his job, if people would laugh at him or if he'd ever feel whole again.
“I have to be honest; I didn't gain momentum again until I got fitted for a prosthetic leg. There's a lot of things you can do with your limbs but there's not much you can do without them.”
Brooks said he was “a very lucky amputee.”
“Most people can't afford a prosthetic leg that costs as much as a new car. Most people who lose a limb don't have insurance. When you give someone a limb you give them life.
“I realized that just because you lose a leg, it doesn't mean your life is over. I realized you should never put a period where God intended there to be a comma,” he told the students. “That's your grammar lesson for the day.”