One brisk Saturday afternoon in October, hundreds of Eden Prairie High School (EPHS) students, staff, and community members gathered at the football field for two Powderpuff games. But even more importantly than that, they gathered to raise funds in support of their classmate, Jake.
Jake, a junior at EPHS who has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and receives services from PHS, is a part of the MDA community – and when he heard last year that the funds raised at the Powderpuff games went to a worthy cause, he had the idea to create an event supporting MDA, and Jake’s Hustle for the Muscle was born. This event is almost completely planned by the DECA program at the high school, with students organizing the game, the volunteers, the activities, and the ticket sales.
“This is probably the most organized group of students I have ever worked with – they’re just incredible,” said Natalia Ruberg, Development Specialist at the MDA. “It’s so amazing and these kids are just beyond amazing with their big hearts and passion to help others.”
PHS got a front row seat to the action as the tailgate sponsor, giving MDA families, students and spectators a place to grab a bite to eat, play some yard games, and get festive at the hair color station before the games kicked off.
We were excited to see Abby, the State Ambassador for MDA (you may remember that earlier this year she interviewed Mark, and we also caught up with her at MDA Camp this summer), while she was taking her turn with the hair spray before the games: freshmen vs. sophomores, and juniors vs. seniors.
In the end, Jake’s Hustle for the Muscle raised an incredible $35,000 for MDA and there were over 630 attendees (not even counting the football players) – a record breaking game for EPHS.
“During the Senior and Junior Game they gave Jake the ball and let him score a touchdown – then both sides went running and cheering after him – over 200 students!” said Natalia. “It was truly indescribable, there was not a dry eye in the stands.”
With people like Jake creating opportunities to do so much good in his community and students like those in the DECA program creating such a successful event, there is no doubt – kids have the best outcomes when they receive care at home, where they can be active in their community, school, and social life. We’re proud to provide care for Jake so he can keep scoring touchdowns.
If you’ll be at the Muscle Team Gala on November 6, watch for a video of the event!