De Soto fundraises for Cook family


Wildcat Photo

Ben and Addi Cook smile for the camera on Jan. 16.

Erin Pickert, Staff Reporter

Throughout the De Soto community, large amounts of fundraising and support have been shown for Addison Cook, who was recently diagnosed with kidney cancer and is the daughter of De Soto High School science teacher Ben Cook.

Through GoFundMe’s, online t-shirts fundraisers, DHS Student Council [StuCo] led fundraising and other efforts, large sums of money have been raised to support Addi and the Cook family.

“We organized a GoFundMe campaign which has raised almost $10,000,” DHS science teacher Justin Hoffman said. “And then there are some t-shirt sales that have gone on that’s been organized by Mrs. Cook’s cousin.”

The GoFundMe, “Aid for Addi,” also gives access to, where Addi’s progress has been logged and photographed, picturing the family wearing the fundraiser t-shirts.

The t-shirts, also seen around the halls of DHS, read “I wear gold for Addi girl” with the backside reading “I so big, I so strong!” The gold on the shirts represents the symbolized ribbon color for childhood cancer.

Many De Soto members have taken notice of the wide support shown by the community.

“It [the t-shirts] shows me that we have a really close, tight knit group of teachers and students that care about each other,” junior Lane Hileman said. “It [the t-shirts] shows that we have a good community here at our school, and it makes everyone feel welcome and safe in a good environment to help each other feel strong.”

DHS students have taken an active role in fundraising for the Cook family. StuCo led a Mario Kart fundraiser on Feb. 22.

“We ended reaching our 25 people limit, and that was only people competing, too. We had a lot of people just come and hang out,” said junior StuCo member Aspen Grieshaber, who helped organize the event.

“It has shown me how much people do care about other people. From seeing the GoFundMe account and then seeing people donate to the donation box, it was very heartwarming. It is also very

Wildcat Photo
Addi Cook models a pink fundraiser t-shirt on Feb. 18.

amazing how people who have never had Mr. Cook in class before, like me, still care,” Grieshaber said.

If you would like donate to the GoFundMe “Aid for Addi,” visit

Addi’s update page can be visited at