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Liberty students to hold fundraiser

A group of Liberty High School students is organizing an event to raise funds for Valley Children’s Healthcare.

The event includes a spaghetti dinner and a murder mystery, which features a cast of characters and an audience which participates in trying to solve the mystery.

Liberty High School students Sierra Steffenson, Emily Castillo and Andrea Simental created the event with the goal of donating 100 percent of the profit to Valley Children’s.

“We know how relevant they are in the community and what they’ve done,” Steffenson said. “I was a patient there when I was really little and they really helped us out. “Because of this, I’ve actually learned that some of our members have also been impacted by the stuff that they’ve done, so that was a really cool connection.”

Steffenson was treated at Valley Children’s because she had a hemangioma, a tumor which can form on different parts of the body.

“A lot of babies are born with them, but mine were on my eye and my ear,” Steffenson said. “Normally they go away as the baby ages, but based on where they were, they would have messed up my sight and my hearing, so we had to get them removed.”

The students are expecting a full house when the event kicks off July 26 at 6 p.m. at Dante Club in Fresno, 6176 N. Grantland Ave.

Steffenson said it’s difficult to organize the event because it’s mostly the students doing it by themselves.

“It’s me and two other girls — Emily Castillo and Andrea Simental — and we’re covering everything,” Steffenson said. “We wrote the entire thing, so it’s completely original. Then it’s also advertising and getting it out there and we built a website for it. There’s a lot of working strings that you don’t realize until you actually come in and do an event.”

The students held another murder mystery event at Liberty High School earlier this year. This next one, however, will be on a bigger scale.

“We pretty much just advertised it to the high school,” Steffenson said. “We didn’t open it up to the community, but this is the first time that we took it and made it bigger for charity.”

Steffenson said she was inspired to set up the event after seeing another student at her school who organized an event for special education. Now, Steffenson hopes to inspire other students to organize other fundraisers.

“Seeing her example set this whole thing in motion and our event has the possibility of doing that again with other people,” Steffenson said.

With aspirations of finding a career in directing, Steffenson said the event helps her prepare for the future.

“A really cool thing about this event for all of us is that we’ve been able to utilize our creative skills in a good way, so like I want to go into directing and it fits perfectly with what this event is doing and what I’m doing in this event,” Steffenson said.

Tickets for the event are available at

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