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State Honoree

Jason Koth

North Dakota

wrote, produced and directed a play called “The Sun In My Eyes” to raise funds for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. After Jason’s handicapped brother Mitchell passed away, Jason was inspired to write the play in his memory. “It seems we never get to tell people we love them until it’s too late,” said Jason. “I wanted to tell people to stop fighting over unimportant things and start opening their eyes to the beautiful people that surround them.” After the Make-A-Wish Foundation of North Dakota certified the play as a fund-raiser for its organization, Jason got to work. He spent many hours polishing his script, rehearsing eight student actors and coordinating sets, costumes, advertising and ticket sales. More than 500 people attended the play’s three performances, and the production raised over $1,300 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which was used to help send a terminally ill child on his dream trip to Disney World. A handicapped woman approached Jason after one performance and told him that she’d thought a teenager could not capture the unique combination of laughter and pain that affects the daily life of the disabled. “What does he know about this?,” she asked herself, adding, “And now I see that you do know. Thank you.” Jason realized then that “every ounce of effort I had put in to make that evening a success was worth it.”