Event is biggest fundraiser for Children's Wish Foundation, P.E.I. chapter
SUMMERSIDE — Every step helps in granting a sick child their heart’s desire.
© Nancy MacPhee/Journal Pioneer
Alex Compton of Summerside is this year’s parade marshal for the Wishmaker Walk for Wishes in Summerside.
On Oct. 19, at five sites across the province, the 21st annual Children’s Wish Foundation, P.E.I. Chapter, Wishmaker Walk for Wishes takes place.
All funds raised, an average of $100,000 each year, go toward granting wishes to eligible children facing life-threatening illness.
“A lot of people either know a wish child or they’ve seen the benefits through hearing about stories or watching the videos on our website,” said Julie Corbett, wish/development co-ordinator with the P.E.I. chapter. “A lot of people have heard how much it benefits the child and their families. I find that people are always very, very willing to give when it comes to the Children’s Wish.”
The walk marshal for the Summerside walk is Alex Compton, a young city boy who was granted his wish earlier this year to meet the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Many children who are granted wishes do get involved in the walk, said Corbett.
One recipient in particular, Pacey MacIsaac of Summerside, has, for the past several years, been the top fundraiser for the walk in the province.
“We like to highlight a child in the area that had their wish recently granted,” she added. “It’s always nice to meet a local wish child or as close to local as we can get. That means a lot to the people participating in the walk and they can either talk to the family or sometimes the family will speak at the event. It makes them realize why they raise so much money… and lets them see the benefits of their hard work.”
Wishmaker Walk for Wishes is the largest fundraising event for the Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada.
Each year, thousands of Canadian children between the ages of three and 17 are diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. Since 1984, the foundation has granted wishes to more 20,000 children and their families.
This year, the Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada expects to grant more than 1,000 new wishes. On average, the Island chapter of the foundation grants 10 to 14 wishes a year and is currently working on 11 wishes, most being trips to Disney.
Participants or “wishmakers” taking part in the Wishmaker Walk for Wishes collect pledges prior to walk day. Those who raise more than $100 have the opportunity to earn rewards, including a chance to win a trip for four to Florida.
“It is one of our largest fundraisers,” said Corbett. “It’s a national event now. It became national in 2005. It started here in Atlantic Canada and is still going strong.”
Walks are being held on Oct. 19 in Montague, Charlottetown, North Rustico, Summerside and Tignish. Registration is at 1 p.m. and the walk at 2.
To find out more about each of the sites or to get involved visit www.wishmaker.ca.