Heart to Heart

Senior Liam Guille receives distinguished award for fundraising money for a life-saving heart surgery.


Used with permission- Joy Greenwald, Townsquare Media

Senior Liam Guille earned the Prudential Spirit of Community Award for raising $3,300 to help an orphan girl in China receive a life-saving heart surgery.

Steph Sommer, Features Editor

A senior at East High has been chosen as one of four students in Wyoming to be recognized nationally for the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards. Liam Guille worked with the East Interact Club to put together multiple fundraisers, hold a raffle, and collect money from local Rotary Club members. His aim was to raise enough money to supply a child in China with a life-saving heart surgery.

“The goal of the project was to raise $3,300, and allow Lily’s current foster family in China to get the surgery and adopt her,” said Guille. “This was amazing because the family was volunteering to adopt this girl, which culturally never happens in China.”

This goal fueled Liam and the Interact Club to put together multiple events to raise the money for Lily’s surgery.

“We put together activities like Lily’s Dance Off, raffles, and working at concessions the year before,” said Guille. “We wanted to come up with new ways to donate because students at our school are already amazingly generous, so it’s important to try to give variety to how they’re donating, more than just a spare change collection.”

Once all the money was raised, Liam was put into the application process for winning the Prudential award, ending up as Wyoming’s runner up and East’s only nominee. The winners are chosen based on the student’s initiative, the student’s effort, the student’s impact on the community, and the student’s personal growth.

““They don’t focus on giving awards to people who volunteer in a broad way,” said East counselor Mr. Jacobsen. “The selection committee seems to focus more on large projects that make a big impact.”

Liam definitely made a huge impact, not only on the Cheyenne community, but also on Lily, and her new family.

“I informed people about the orphan situation, and how they could help all over the world,” comments Guille. “East came together and we were able to completely fund her surgery, and now Lily is living with her forever in Beijing.”