“Kickin’ It for Teague” Event Raises Funds for Houston-Area Child
Bauer MBA candidates Raiya Al Salmi and Lara Machemehl were given a mission in Professor Chet Miller’s leadership development class — make a difference.
Al Salmi and Machemehl were inspired to organize efforts to benefit a child in the Houston community and started combing through the Make-A-Wish Foundation’s list of children in the area, when they found Teague Cox.
Cox is a nine-year-old boy who has been diagnosed with brain cancer. His wish is to go deep sea fishing with his family in Hawaii. In order to make his wish come true, Al Salmi and Machemehl set out on a mission to raise $7,300.
“We wanted to pick a kid based in Houston so that our goal was very specific. We could tell a story that people could relate to. It was a really difficult choice,” Al Salmi said.
Machemehl added: “Teague just stood out to us, and that’s how we selected him,”
Machemehl raised money for another child through Make-A-Wish previously and was familiar with the organization which grants the wishes of children diagnosed with life-threatening medical conditions in the United States.
The student duo came up with a two-part strategy. First, they would allow people to donate to their cause through the Make-A-Wish website, and second, they would host an on-campus kickball game of students versus their professors.
“When I was a teacher, we raised money for another child through Make-A-Wish, and we had a dodgeball game of teachers versus students. That’s where the idea came from,” Machemehl said.
In addition to members of the Bauer faculty, the students were also joined by Cox and his family. The group all donned Santa hats and played the charity kickball game in front of an enthusiastic crowd of friends, family and several Bauer National Association of Women MBA (NAWMBA) members at Lynn Eusan Park on the University of Houston campus.
“This was truly an incredible way to end my MBA experience at Bauer,” Machemehl said.
Six Bauer professors signed-up to play in the game, including Dusya Vera, Chet Miller, Je’anna Abbott, Leiser Silva, Steve Werner and Partha Krishnamurthy. Department of Management Chair Jim Phillips donated $150 for each management professor who played in the kickball game, totaling to a $750 donation.
His donation combined with the $5 entry tickets and raffle tickets for 17th row, center court Rockets tickets brought the total amount raised for the kickball game to $1,175. Overall, the students helped to bring the funds raised for Teague’s wish to more than $7,300, which will allow him to take the deep sea fishing trip with his family.
“It is clear to me that thanks to the culture that our faculty create both in the classroom and outside, our students are inspired to make a difference, change lives and make awesome happen,” Dean Latha Ramchand said.
By Carolyn Shaffer
Make-A-Wish America President and CEO David Williams (MBA ’92) will kick off Bauer College’s “Inspiring Minds” lecture series on Jan. 22. For more information or to RSVP, click here.