Fifth grader gets surprise gift at SLC Stars game

Jan 17, 2024, 6:48 PM | Updated: Jan 18, 2024, 11:30 am

SALT LAKE CITY — For every kid hoping snow would cancel classes on Wednesday, these students actually wanted to go to school.

“They’ve been looking forward to this for at least a month,” said Majestic Elementary Arts Academy principal Marianne Johansen.

Fifth graders in the Jordan and Granite school districts were treated to a Salt Lake Stars game at the Delta Center. For many of the students, it was their first visit.

Johansen said, “We’re like sitting courtside today. We’re a Title I school. That’s not a luxury we frequently get, you know?”

If there’s one student who could use a few smiles right now, it’s 10-year-old Jaxson Steele.

“I adore Jaxson,” Johansen said. “He’s just that golden kid, you know? He comes to school every day with a smile on his face.”

Johansen can’t stop thinking about him. “He unexpectedly lost his mom the day after Christmas,” she explained.

It means Jaxson has to move in with his father, who lives in a different school district.

“Which is really hard for us. He’s been with us since kindergarten. Like, he’s our kid,” Johansen said.

Fifth grader Jaxson Steele was surprised with a gift from his school district at halftime of a Salt Lake City Stars game on Jan. 17, 2024. (KSL TV)

That gave Johansen an idea.

“We were able to reach out to our foundation and they found a donor who purchased a brand new clarinet to give to Jaxson,” she said. When Jaxson was called to the court, he had no idea he was getting a clarinet. The look on his face said it all.

“I was shaking. I was just, I didn’t, I don’t know,” he said.


As tough as things are for him right now, this moment showed him he’s not alone. “It means the world to us. It makes the time so special,” said Corey Steele, Jaxson’s father.

There’s no doubt he’ll make new friends, maybe one day, people will come to see him play.

KSL 5 TV Live

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Fifth grader gets surprise gift at SLC Stars game