PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Determined students and staff at Highlands High School have been working all year to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

It was an exciting and action-packed day as students put down their books to take part in the annual Spring-sanity Dodgeball Tournament.

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Between the games, teachers took on students in sumo wrestling.

All of the fun was part of a year-long effort for a good cause.

“School is more than just books and tests and this is such a warm, wonderful feeling. I’m so glad that I can be a part of it. I’m so proud of all the students and the staff,” teacher Sherry Armstrong said.

Every year, students with the National Honor Society raise money for a different charity. This year, they selected Make-A-Wish to honor a former student -Tyler Smith.

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Tyler, a 2003 graduate of Highlands, had muscular dystrophy.

He passed away in September at the age of 30. When he was 10, his wish to visit California and be part of the filming of the 30th anniversary of “Star Trek Voyager” was granted by Make-A-Wish.

“Kids don’t have a regular normal life. They are always going to the doctors or to the hospital and this Make-A-Wish gives them a chance to do that, to be normal for a change,” Tyler’s mom, Darlene, said.

“He was a great brother. He really overcame a lot of obstacles throughout his life and to have them raise money for more kids like that, it’s an honor,” Tyler’s sister, April Petit, said.

The students raised more than $4,000, which they know will make a difference.

“Knowing you helped someone and all this hard work actually paying off and everybody out there having fun and doing it for a good cause and everybody knowing it’s for a good cause, it’s just awesome,” Taylor Cochran said.

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