Members of Argo band aid friend with GoFundMe campaign

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Members of Argo band aid friend with GoFundMe campaign

Alex Vega and Christian Bahena pose for quick photo before band rehearsal.

Alex Vega and Christian Bahena pose for quick photo before band rehearsal.

Emily Broniewicz

Alex Vega and Christian Bahena pose for quick photo before band rehearsal.

Emily Broniewicz

Emily Broniewicz

Alex Vega and Christian Bahena pose for quick photo before band rehearsal.

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What started as an idea in a snapchat group has turned into something much greater. Alex Vega and a close-knit group of friends started a GoFundMe campaign for their band-mate Christian Bahena, who is currently undergoing chemotherapy. The GoFundMe, created on February 7th, 2019, had raised a little under $3,000 within the first 24 hours of its launch.

Christian Bahena is described as a sweet and kind sophomore here at Argo High School. He absolutely loves Super Smash Bros. and he plays the trumpet in the school band. Every four years, the Argo band, orchestra, and choir take a trip to Florida during Spring Break where they explore Disney World and perform in a Disney parade. At a total cost of $1,500 each, this is not a cheap trip for students.

With the cost of Christian’s medical treatment, there was a possibility Christians family would not have been able to afford this trip. When Alex found out about the financial hardships Christians family was facing, he contacted 15 of his closest friends and they all decided that they wanted to help Christian.

Alex had the original idea of creating the GoFundMe to help Christian go on the Disney trip. The starting goal was $1,500, which would have been enough to fund his trip to Disney with the band. “My friends all care for each other. The spark ignited the community in all of us,” Alex responded when asked about how the group came together. Alex went on to say if he wasn’t supported by his friends, he may not have had the confidence to help Christian.

On February 7, 2019 they started a GoFundMe page right after school ended. The link to the GoFundMe page was posted on individual social media accounts, asking for anyone to donate or at the very least to spread the message and link. From there it gained a lot of attention from people all around the community. By the end of the night, the GoFundMe had reached over $2000.

While all this was going on, Christian was, for the most part, kept in the dark. Once the GoFundMe started getting donations in, Alex and his friends went to Christian’s house and showed him the page. At that time, there was around $500 worth of donations and, “Christian was at loss for words,” stated Alex, “Christian is very nervous and shy and thought the GoFundMe was too much.”

Alex wanted to let the whole school to know about his campaign, so initially he attempted to send a school-wide announcement through Outlook. Alex found out after the fact that he needed an administrative approval but instead of quitting, Alex kept trying and manually sent the e-mail to all staff and faculty at Argo. To Alex’s surprise, an unknown administrator approved his original attempt.

They may have reached their initial goal but there are no plans of stopping anytime soon. The page has since been changed to represent their new goal of $4,000. All money over the $1,500 for his trip, will go to the Bahena family to help them with Christian’s medical costs. “If you can’t help with money, being there for him is enough”, stated Alex.