Sarah Weglarz wanted to do her part to honor the memory of her late sister Cate.
So, she and her cousin, Allie Hopp, created the Care Like Cate Club at Westfield High School
“Its purpose is to spread Cate’s love and joy to people in our school and in our community,” Weglarz said.
Weglarz, a WHS senior, and Hopp, a junior, are the club’s co-presidents. The club’s mission is collecting toys for Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital’s child life services.
Cate, 5, became sick with flu-like symptoms in January 2019. The family initially wasn’t too concerned, but two days later she woke up and was lethargic. They took her to Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital emergency room in Indianapolis.
“She actually passed away after we were there an hour-and-a-half,” Weglarz said. “It was pretty sudden and unexpected.”
Two months later, she and Allie decided to create the club.
“It helped with the grief process,” Weglarz said. “Because it was sudden, they did an autopsy and there wasn’t anything to indicate a disease and illness. Not having that closure was difficult. One of the ways I was able to cope with the news they didn’t know what happened to her was by creating the club.”
Weglarz said the doctors’ best guess was it was an unknown virus that caused her death.
“One of the things that stood out about Cate is she was really selfless. That’s something you don’t always see at 5 years old,” Weglarz said. “She was loved by a lot of people.”
Weglarz’s club has partnered with Service Over Self, another WHS service club, to collect face masks and winter clothing items to donate to Open Doors food pantry in Westfield. Care Like Cate Club also conducts a T-shirt fundraiser to raise money for Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital. Weglarz said the club has raised about $2,000 since it started.
Weglarz said the toy drive will continue until Dec. 18. There are drop-offs at the main office and the athletic entrance at Westfield High School.
“Last year, we ended up with 130 items, but this year we’re already at 250 items and the drive is still going on,” said Weglarz, who also has a 10-year-old sister, Rachel. “It’s been incredible to see everyone show up for us and help us out.”
For those not going to WHS, there is an Amazon wish list, where items are shipped to Weglarz’s house.
For the wish list, visit amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/17CUZ5P2039XG?ref_=wl_share.