Make-A-Wish marks 25 years of local serviceWritten by Julie Ryan | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Make-A-Wish Foundation of Northwest Ohio is celebrating its 25th year granting wishes in the Toledo area with annual events and fundraising opportunities for the community.
Melissa Rozic, special event coordinator, said Make-A-Wish of Northwest Ohio works to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions in 21 counties.
“We serve kids between 2 and a half and 18 with life-threatening illnesses,” Rozic said. “Anything they wish for, we try to provide for them. It’s an entirely cost-free experience for the wish child and their family.”
Last year, the organization granted 85 wishes, and Rozic said this year it would be close to that number again.
Make-A-Wish plans the wishes as soon as the children are referred, and it takes an average of six months to grant them.
Rozic said Make-A-Wish of Northwest Ohio hosts three major events each year, along with fundraisers hosted by people in the community who wish to support the organization. Rozic said the nonprofit receives calls from people who want to hold an event, such as a golf outing or raffle and average 70 fundraisers a year.
The three major events hosted by Make-A-Wish take place in the spring, fall and winter.
Walk for Wishes will take place May 17 at Olander Park in Sylvania. Rozic said people can show up and walk or plan in advance and collect donations for Make-A-Wish. There will be activities at the park for families, such as zoo animals, clowns and inflatable toys.
“There will be something for everyone,” Rozic said.
A wine-tasting event will take place at the end of September or beginning of October, Rozic said, and feature 10 restaurants from Levis Commons and 100 different varieties of wine.
Make-A-Wish’s biggest event, a sports auction at the SeaGate Centre, takes place in February each year, where 300 sports-related items are auctioned.
To celebrate the 25th anniversary, Rozic is planning a large, one-time event in November.
Throughout the year, Make-A-Wish emphasizes the Kids for Wish Kids program, Rozic said, where school kids work to host a fundraiser for a wish kid and his or her wish.
People can volunteer at Make-A-Wish as a wish granter volunteer or an event volunteer and help at fundraisers and events.
“The wish-granter volunteers interact with the wish families and the wish child and help the child as they determine what their one true wish is,” Rozic said.
For information call the Make-A-Wish office at (419) 244-WISH.
On the web: visit www.northwestohio.wish.org and click on links for more.