NORMAN — It's not an exaggeration to say that students at Norman North High School are changing lives with SPUD Week fundraising activities, said Morgan Barfield, whose daughter was one of this year's beneficiaries.
SPUD Week, which stands for Students Performing Unselfish Deeds, raised $201,427 this year, which will be divided between two Norman families and OK Kids Korral, a home away from home for pediatric cancer patients and their families.
Norman North's goal of $130,000 was exceeded by more than $70,000, said Kayla Walker, chairwoman of this year's SPUD Week, held in late March. “It was more than I could have ever asked for,” said Walker, a senior.
The school holds an assortment of fundraising activities, including a splatter-paint black light dance, dodge ball, a battle of the bands and a letter-writing campaign to local residents and businesses. The fundraiser is in its 14th year.
Part of the money raised this year will go to the family of Morgan and Travis Barfield, whose daughter Marleigh was born 17 months ago with her intestines outside of her body.
Also receiving SPUD Week money are Jenny and Brad Bryan, whose 6-year-old daughter Andey has had surgery for spina bifida occulta, a spinal defect. She will require additional surgery in the future.
Travis Barfield and Brad Bryan are graduates of North.
The third recipient, which will get $50,000 from an anonymous donor, is OK Kids Korral, a home away from home for the families of pediatric cancer patients. OK Kids Korral is being built in Oklahoma City by the Toby Keith Foundation near the University of Oklahoma Medical Center, the Peggy and Charles Stephenson Cancer Center and other medical facilities.
The Barfields plan to use their part of the money to take Marleigh out of state to a special intestinal rehabilitation program not available in Oklahoma, Morgan Barfield said.