Everyday Princesses make wishes come true
Children’s Wish brings dreams to life
By Kourtney Meldrum, Food Columnist
Girls and boys of all ages donned their tutus and princess dresses early morning on Sunday Sept. 11. At Eau Claire Market they participated in a 1km or 5km run or walk for a Children’s Wish charity fundraiser.
Children’s Wish is a Canadian organization that grants wishes to children who are diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses. Over the past 30 years they have granted wishes to over 25,000 children. In a year, the Alberta and Northwest Territories chapter of the organization will grant an average of 130 wishes. The walk aims to draw awareness to children who are going through treatment or their wish, and to bring about education about the organization and the big role it plays in the community.
“It’s important that people know that even though the wish is granted to a child, it doesn’t just affect that one child, it affects a whole community. It affects their parents, their siblings, their friends, their teachers, and guardians and the people that are seeing them and interacting with them on a daily basis” says Rebecca Emerton, development coordinator at the Alberta and Northwest Territories chapter for Children’s Wish.
The event raised $22,000, but donations are still coming in. The money goes into a pool for the Children’s Wish Alberta and Northwest Territories chapter – not to only one child. The funds work for all of the wishes that need to be granted. This way, money is available at a moments notice for a rush wish.
The cold and wet weather didn’t steer participants away as the third annual Wish-maker Walk – Princess Prance Edition drew over 150 volunteers, participants, and sponsors. Many of the participants were children, some being Wish Families themselves who have been directly impacted by the work done by the charity. There were even some individuals from the hospital who work in close contact with Children’s Wish and the children involved.
In 2016, Children’s Wish has received an influx in the amount of wish referrals compared to previous years. The exact reason for the number of referrals rising is unknown, but the knowledge of the organization in hospitals and around communities plays a big part in educating families and making referrals for children who are eligible. “It’s a sad world knowing that these children are having to deal with these illnesses. But the more people know about wish granting foundations and charities helps to encourage people to think that if they’re eligible, why not refer them for a wish and have them positive and give them hope in their life,” states Emerton.
Combined with the unprecedented amount of wish referrals, the organization has also seen a significant drop in the amount of donations and corporate sponsorship in 2016 due to economic downturn. Children’s Wish is working to combat this through more third party events, but also through conscious spending when it comes to their wishes.
The organization mainly runs all of its events on volunteers, and they deeply appreciate and thank each one of them for the time they put into helping everything run smoothly and for being part of such an important cause in the community. More information on the organization, upcoming events, and how to get involved can be found on their website www.childrenswish.ca.