Julie Bayles and her son, Seth, address the Westosha Central crowd at an assembly for the Ronald McDonald House.

Bayles receives a shock

By Jason Arndt
Editor

Stunned, surprised and amazed.

Those are three words Seth Bayles used to describe his reaction when several businesses came forward with donations to aid in his mission to help Ronald McDonald House at an assembly held Oct. 30 at Westosha Central High School.

Bayles, a 16-year-old sophomore, decided to help Ronald McDonald House after his family received continuous support from the organization as he battles an incurable autoimmune disorder.

The disorder, which has plagued him since he was a 7-year-old, resulted in several trips to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. and continues to this day.

According to his mother, Julie, the family discovered and received help from the Ronald McDonald House in Rochester, where officials plan to expand in order to serve more families, and therefore, turn less people away.

In May, representatives from the Ronald McDonald House announced the plans to double the size of the facility, a press release states.

“The families need the Ronald McDonald House, I know because I am recipient of it,” Julie said after Monday’s assembly.

With the Ronald McDonald House in need of funds, Seth decided to make it his mission to help the Ronald McDonald House in its expansion efforts, which included collection of pop tabs.

Since his decision, Seth has brought in more than one million pop tabs, and continues to accept them.

To raise awareness of his mission, including the sale of red and white striped stocks, Monday’s assembly served as a focal point to initiate more support.

As Seth sat with his peers, his mother addressed the Westosha Central student body, which unknown to him at the time, was secretly raising funds to help in his mission.

Julie, who shared her personal experiences, told students in attendance they can make a difference, regardless of what age they are or if they are battling an internal struggle.

“Sometimes there are some challenges where you just want to quit, I just want to challenge you today to never give up, and don’t let anybody look down on you because you are young,” Julie said. “You can make a difference, you can collect pop tabs, you wear silly socks.”

Meanwhile, before the assembly, the school’s Key Club rallied together and reached out to area businesses seeking donations.

The donations from area businesses brought in at least $1,850, and an additional $663 was raised through a Miracle Minute at the assembly, where students and representatives of the Bristol Fire Department milled around with large pails.

Following collection, Julie called Seth out of the audience and on to the gym floor, where he received the news of business contributions.

“This is just amazing, just amazing,” said Seth. “I did not know about it and it was such a big surprise. I am stunned.”

For Julie, what stunned her was the overwhelming support from Westosha Central students, who showed enthusiasm for Seth’s cause.

“It was amazing, it went beyond my expectations, I thought that the crowd would be receptive, but they were over the top enthusiastic,” she said. “We just raised $663 in one minute, that is unbelievable.”

While students and businesses offered support, a Kenosha County Sheriff’s deputy stepped forward, and bought 40 pairs of socks for members of his department.

As Seth’s continues to help others, in spite of his circumstances, the Bristol resident continues to stay engaged within the Westosha Central community, including a role as student manager of the football team.

One of Seth’s duties include recording video for the football team, and is often seen in the press booth, while his brother, Drew, is on the gridiron as a senior for the Falcons.

Football coach Tyson Mengel and Drew, both of whom addressed the students on Monday, said Seth continues to persevere.

 
 

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