By Trojan Tribune Editor Krista Logelin.
Local radio station B96, Lizzie Rahm (11), and WHS Family and Consumer Sciences teachers surprised Heather (12) and Stephanie (12) Wright with Christmas presents at the Wright’s home last Tuesday after Rahm nominated the twin sisters for B96’s Breaking and Entering Christmas.
Breaking and Entering Christmas surprises struggling families with gifts during the holiday season. Rahm sent B96 an e-mail nominating Heather and Stephanie because they would otherwise have not had received Christmas gifts.
Stephanie and Heather work as much as they can every day to pay for their own food and help with the bills because their mom does not have much money.
“They deserve this because they go to a school where labels are often a big thing,” said Rahm. “And it’s not just that; everyone wants a Christmas.”
It has been three years since Heather and Stephanie have been able to afford Christmas presents. “These girls pay for their house. They’re working very hard, yet they have not had a Christmas in three years.”
B96 eventually contacted Rahm to tell her that the Wrights were one of the ten families selected to receive the Breaking and Entering Christmas. When they were chosen, Rahm said she began planning the surprise with Personal and Family Issues teacher Anna Olson and the radio station. Olson called Stephanie and Heather’s bosses at work to get them the day off on Tuesday. Rahm invited the sisters to open her presents for them on that day. B96 went out and spent near $1000 on warm clothes, lotions, perfumes, and boots for the twins.
Tuesday afternoon, Rahm stalled after school in the Yearbook Room long enough for the B96 to drive through the snowy traffic and set up at Heather and Stephanie’s home. The sisters were still under the impression that they were exchanging presents with Rahm after school but that she was getting held up at Yearbook.
“I saw some guy with a video camera in my house when I walked in,” said Stephanie. “I was like ‘Who’s in my house!’”
The man she saw was B96 DJ Tone E. Fly accompanied by Danni Starr and their video crew. Stephanie and Heather’s grandma was sitting on the couch with the girls’ mom on the phone. Miss Hanley, Mrs. Olson, Miss Lejonvarn, and Mr. McNiel were there, too.
“It was a huge surprise!” said Heather. “I am so grateful to have a friend like Lizzy.”
“For them to get a Christmas,” said Rahm, “I know it made their entire year. It was good to see them and how happy they were. That is what made my Christmas this year.”
Rahm said that students at WHS should keep their eyes out for people less fortunate. “You don’t need to do something as big as I did. Just be their friend!” she said.
Miss Olson said her favorite part of the whole event was seeing Stephanie open her new winter coat. Everyone in the room cried as Stephanie rejoiced for having a coat for the first time in two years. “I knew she wanted one and I couldn't afford it,” said Heather. “Seeing her so happy was the past part for me.”
“The girls are so resilient,” said Miss Olson. “They’re both going to succeed in life. I have the utmost confidence.”