S.O.A.R. Scholarship: Dream Catcher Hoping To Make An Impact For Those Young And Old

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There are seven decades that separate Cody and Charlie, but the two have something very special in common.

Charlie's wife, Ruth, was a patient at Great River Hospice and last Christmas, her last wish was granted by Cody Wright and his friends.

"We were told that every year they decorated a Christmas tree and they weren't sure if they were going to be able to do it this year," said Cody.

So they did, using a big blue spruce that stood right outside Ruth's room.

"We decorated it with tons of lights," explained Cody. "We wanted to be able to see it for a long distance."

Charlie said they even tracked down an angel.

"...and then, when the children got through decorated the tree, they come back into her room and sang her three Christmas carols," he said. "It was a wonderful day that day. She enjoyed every minute of it."

"Seeing Ruth light up and smile so much once we got done was phenomenal," added Cody. "It was an amazing experience being able to see her so happy over something that we did somewhat easily."

A picture of that decorated tree sat on Ruth's nightstand until the day she passed away. That is what the Dream Catcher Club is all about.

"It's no where else in Iowa," said Cody. "No one else has done it yet and we figured if we could at least get it started here and do our best to get it moving, we could also spread it through our state."

The Senior at Burlington High School has helped complete six wishes in just one year. So for all that hard work, WQAD News 8 is giving him a S.O.A.R. Scholarship, with the help of The Sedona Group.

"He's a bright kid," said Charlie. "It couldn't happen to a better person."

"I'm glad that you guys saw what I did as a big enough difference," said Cody.

He wants to keep making a difference. The Eagle Scout works with Boy Scouts in the area and is attending Iowa State University to major in Physics and Education to become a teacher.

"As a student, I never had a big push toward Engineering or Math or Science and I found that I really enjoyed it, but only because of the way I was taught it," he explained.

The S.O.A.R. Scholarship is all about a student's Strength, Optimism, Achievements, and Resolve. The $1,000 scholarship is awarded to five area high school seniors every year.