The Student News Site of South Forsyth High School

The Bird Feed

The Student News Site of South Forsyth High School

The Bird Feed

The Student News Site of South Forsyth High School

The Bird Feed

South Community Gets Creative for a “Rolling Dream”

On Dec. 1, SFHS DECA will host a “Family Paint Night” Fundraiser to help South student Christian Valcheff purchase a wheelchair-adapted van.
SFHS DECA / Instagram

On Friday, Dec. 1 at 6 p.m., South Forsyth High School’s DECA Club will host a “SoFo Paint Night” for students and families to get creative and fundraise for a meaningful cause. All the proceeds from the event will go toward the “Rolling Dream” Fundraiser to help South student Christian Valcheff purchase a wheelchair-accessible van.

Valcheff is an 18-year-old special education student known by many in the community for his positive attitude and sense of humor despite having been born with Cerebral Palsy, a condition which causes him to rely on a wheelchair for all his mobility needs. 

To navigate the world as every teen wants to, Valcheff relies on family members at home and aides at school to assist him with physically challenging activities, one of which many South students probably take for granted everyday: getting in and out of a car. 

Unfortunately last June, Valcheff’s father received a cancer diagnosis. Because his father can no longer fully assist with Valcheff’s physical needs, the family needs a wheelchair accessible van

“The van will help me by having a ramp come all the way out of the car,” Valcheff said.

Wheelchair-Adapted Vans typically include a ramp which makes it easier for the individual to move in and out of the vehicle. They can also utilize additional features to assist with any number of physical mobility issues. “Wheelchair hoist and lift platform DSCF8912” by John Robert McPherson is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

Such a van can be incredibly expensive, in some places costing upwards of $100K, so the family would benefit greatly from any assistance with the purchase that will undoubtedly improve the entire family’s quality of life. 

“[The van’s ramp] will help my mom…because it’s quicker,” Valcheff said.

Aside from traveling to and from school, Valcheff, who wants to be a professional DJ, says he enjoys going to local parks. 

All the money collected from the Paint Night ticket sales will go directly to this cause. Tickets cost $25 for one student to participate in the painting activity and $40 for a parent and student combined. 

Tickets can be purchased on SchoolPay through the end of November. Outside of the Paint Night Fundraiser, interested parties can also donate directly to the family’s GoFundMe, which, as of Nov. 30, has raised $16,910 of its $60,000 goal.

Paint Night will be a fun event where families can spend time together and students can have fun by working on these creative projects.

In addition to having the opportunity to donate to this important initiative by attending, students are also encouraged to participate because they can receive volunteer hours for honors societies such as NTHS and National Beta Club.

To see clubs, staff and students working across the community to support him and his family, Valcheff says he “feel[s] pretty good about it.”

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About the Contributor
Saanvi Tatipalli, Features Editor
Saanvi Tatipalli (She/Her/Hers) is a junior at South Forsyth High School, delighted to make the best of her third year working with The Bird Feed. As an avid creator, when she’s not honing in on her passions, she’s finding new ones to try out. She absolutely loves to write, make digital art, code, and spend time with her family and friends. Outside of being involved with school clubs and organizations, she enjoys writing for magazines and advocating for causes dear to her heart. She really looks forward to learning more about the world around her and meeting new people this school year!