Since Evan Waara was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at age 2, his family and friends have been dedicated to fundraising for research about his disease.
Evan was diagnosed in October of 2003, and “We basically hit the ground running right then,” recalled his dad, Carl.
Evan’s Dream Team started its annual fundraiser dinner and auction in 2004. This year it’s in a new location, moving to Ocosta Recreation Hall from the Grayland Community Center due to scheduling conflicts. Tickets for the May 19 buffet-style dinner are $20, available at Security State Bank in Grayland or by calling 267-5034. Advance registration is encouraged but tickets are available at the door. Dinner starts at 6 p.m.
Ocosta Elementary School has its own fundraising tradition it’s observing this week and last week: a school-wide coin drive pitting the classes against each other has become a competitive fixture among the students.
“They compete classroom versus classroom to see who can get the most points. In the classroom competition, they get positive points (for money they collect), and if there are any silver coins or paper money from other classes they are negative points … so it’s kind of a cool little competition. As the kids have grown up with it, they come up with new strategies,” Carl said.
Evan, now 10, always gets excited about the competition at his school.
“His class last year actually won. It’s kind of a little bit of pressure on his teacher every year,” Carl said. “He gets into it and they strategize.”
To cap the annual fundraising efforts, the national Great Strides walk will be held June 9. Teams can participate as an additional fundraiser, or just walk the four-mile route starting and ending at the Grayland Community Center to turn in other money they have raised all at once.
A planned scavenger hunt called Evan’s Amazing Race has been postponed until the fall due to scheduling issues.
The Dream Team raises between $20,000 and $30,000 every year for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
“It’s been phenomenal,” Carl said of the community’s support. “With the dinner and auction, every year we’ve raised more money.”
“We’re always amazed at the participation from the community, but then again we always want to do more. Never want to get too satisfied,” he added with a laugh.
To form a team for the Great Strides walk, visit cff.org. To donate to Evan’s Dream Team directly, visit Security State Bank or call 267-5034.