The University of Maine at Presque Isle will host a Make-A-Wish Walk on Thursday, Sept. 25 starting at 7 p.m. in the Campus Center. This event is sponsored and organized by the Dean of Students Office. Check-in and on-site registration begins at 6 p.m. in the Multi-Purpose Room. This event is free and open to the public.
There are two ways to get involved: First, you can help raise money for Make-A-Wish by walking and collecting money and, second, you can help by volunteering at the walk. UMPI has held the Make-A-Wish Walk for four consecutive years.
UMPI Dean of Students Jim Stepp said his office has helped to sponsor and organize this event every year because of a personal connection with the Make-A-Wish Foundation: “I am close friends with two families who have children who have been granted wishes by the Make-A-Wish Foundation,” Stepp said.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation was inspired by “Chris’ Wish.” As a 7-year-old boy diagnosed with leukemia, Chris had just one wish: “To catch bad guys with U.S. Customs Agent Tommy Austin.” Officer Austin, after hearing this, decided to get together with a group from his force, and help Chris become Arizona’s first, and only, honorary Department of Public Safety Officer. Chris’ wish was the whole inspiration behind the founding of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation grants the wishes of children (in the United States and its territories) diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition. Since 1992, Make-A-Wish has granted over 1,100 wishes to Maine children. On average, each wish granted to a Maine child costs $6,000 and one wish is granted every five days. Last year, UMPI was able to raise over $1,000 and had 60 people participate in the event. This year, event organizers are hoping to raise $1,500 and see 75 people in attendance.
During this year’s event, adults raising at least $100 and youth under 18 raising at least $50 will receive a free “Walk For Wishes” T-shirt.
“I am thankful that I can play a small role in helping the Make-A-Wish Foundation grant wishes for the children they work with,” Stepp said.
For more information about this event, please call 207-768-9773. For more information about Make-A-Wish, call 602-279-9474 or visit Wish.org.