Community celebrates sophomore Brynn Haun

Susie Seidel, Staff Writer

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When faced with hardship, the question will always remain in a community as strong as Parkway West: what can be done to help? This question was made into a reality by students, faculty and friends in the celebration of sophomore Brynn Haun, Thursday, Dec. 21.

Members of the faculty led by assistant athletic and activities director Annie Wayland and Brynn’s closest friends sat down with two weeks to plan a night that allowed the St. Louis community to participate and show support for Brynn.

“It originated with kids who cared about Brynn and wanted to do something to recognize her,” sophomore principal Mario Pupillo said. “Adults jumped in at the same time, and all members of the community agreed this is something we wanted to do.”

With a narrow time frame, Wayland and Brynn’s closest friends decided the event would take place during a basketball game. The game was a pink-out, in honor of pink being Brynn’s favorite color, and players participated in the theme by wearing pink warm up t shirts. All of Brynn’s favorite things, including Chick-fil-A, Goldfish, blueberries and music from her personal playlist were featured.

“We only had two weeks to accomplish a lot, but everyone helped out and it was amazing,” sophomore Kelly Wehrmeister said.

The Longhorns played Marquette, whose coaching staff, players and cheerleaders also participated in the pink theme.

“Seeing Marquette do everything was just awesome,” sophomore Andrew Jolly said. “Not only her friends are involved, but the people all around her and the entire community care about her.”

At halftime, theater members organized a flash mob to a mix of songs from Brynn’s favorite musical, “Hamilton.”

“It’s very interesting having people that are in theater coming together and doing something for someone,” senior Meghan Larsen said. “It’s really cool having so many facets of the school getting involved in one event.”

In addition to local involvement, radio stations 98.1, 104.9, 107.7 and KSDK were in attendance.

“Her family reached out because she was a fan of the station and we wanted to know how we could help,” Z107.7 host Jordan Desocio said. “It’s been fantastic, the fact that we’re able to be here, talk with her friends, classmates, faculty and participate with her family.”

Many more surprises were in store for Brynn following the flash mob, including audio messages sent from the cast of “Hamilton” and actress Jenna Fischer, known for her role as Pam on “The Office.”

“[Her] strength of character and resilience has touched many people,” Fischer said. “It was my honor to be asked to speak tonight.”

Finally, Pupillo and principal Jeremy Mitchell presented Brynn with her high school diploma.

“I was amazed,” Wehrmeister said. “My emotions just overtook me because I was so happy I got to see my best friend graduate.”

The night followed painful months, but reflected the unity and love that encompasses Brynn from her community. Whatever may come next for Brynn, her courage, fight and legacy will continue to inspire the community.

“I hope that she sees how much everyone supports her,” sophomore Jenna Mercer said. “She is a role model for the whole school.”