On Saturday, Jan. 23, Lubbock Christian University's Rip Griffin Center looked like a "Star Wars" movie premiere, prepared to host a day of surprises for nine year-old Make-A-Wish grantee, Angele Martinez. Angele, a nine-year old boy battling osteosarcoma, and his family were the special guests of LCU during a basketball doubleheader.
LCU's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) spent months planning a special day to reveal an opportunity of a lifetime to a child struggling with a life-threatening condition, with the help of local Wish Granter, Jordan Perry, and her mother, Jacklyn. The SAAC rallied with the LCU student body to raise over the $9,000 needed to fund Angele's wish. More than 200 Chaps and Lady Chaps dedicated their time to working Texas Tech football games last fall to raise the majority of the money. The SAAC and student organizations on campus facilitated a Trunk-or-Treat in conjunction with Make-A-Wish to support the cause, and LCU's Staff Senate chipped in to donate proceeds from their annual "Souper Bowl."
Angele, a "Star Wars" fanatic, had the afternoon completely dedicated to him. Angele and his family found their reserved seats in the front row after the Lady Chap starting lineup was introduced by music from the “Star Wars” films. Following the first quarter, Angele won a drawing for an autographed basketball signed by the LCU basketball teams.
During halftime, Angele had to navigate a remote control car into costumed stormtroopers, Jedi, and Mandalorians to gain prizes. After the third quarter, Angele correctly identified an image of Anakin Skywalker on the video board to receive a gift card.
Immediately following the Lady Chap win, LCU student-athletes flooded the court and surrounded Angele for what he thought was a costume contest. However, SAAC President Ashton Bell and men's soccer player Cameron Lugo, who was donning a blue LEGO costume, revealed his granted wish: to travel to LEGOLAND in California. Angele raised his arms in excitement as the crowd rose to their feet.
Angele and his family will be making the trip this summer on his 10th birthday. "Almost everything is made of big LEGOs there. I'm going to build a boat and test it in the streams," he explained. When asked about his surprise he commented, "I got a bit nervous out there. I didn't ever expect it."
This is LCU's second time to partner with Make-A-Wish for a reveal; Isabel Artiaga received her wish to travel to the Aulani Resort in Hawaii during an on-campus chapel ceremony last spring. "I am so honored to be able to be a part of something so special. LCU's SAAC and student-athletes have worked so hard this fall to be able to make this possible for Angele,” said Bell. “Being able to make Angele's wish come true is one of the most rewarding things I've ever been a part of.”