Weekly Feature

2018-03-14 / Editorial

Make-A-Wish event helps teach kids empathy

Bee Editorial

Many people in the community have probably heard of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which brings smiles to faces of children in the midst of their struggle. The Make-A-Wish Foundation is an organization that grants wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions through fundraising campaigns and educational outreach.

In the United States and its territories, on average, a wish is granted every 34 minutes, according to the Make-A-Wish website.

In the City of Tonawanda, an event has been happening for more than five years that focuses on helping grant a child’s wish. Sue Davison, a kindergarten teacher at Mullen Elementary School, says her children get to know a “Wish Kid” through a presentation and he or she is spoken about throughout the school year. This year, their “Wish Kid” is a 6-year-old Niagara Falls boy named Gene, who wants to go to Walt Disney World. Since Gene currently battles chronic kidney disease, the life-threatening illness makes it difficult at times to enjoy the things he loves.

To help fund Gene’s Wish, the district’s annual dodgeball tournament and basket raffle is scheduled to take place from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 28, at the Tonawanda High School gym, 600 Fletcher St., Tonawanda.

Teachers from Fletcher, Riverview, Mullen, Tonawanda Middle and Tonawanda High School will come together to battle at 6 p.m. Admission to the event is only $1 with a family cap of $5.

This is not only fun for the teachers and students to watch but it raises money for a good cause. Davison said the City of Tonawanda community has shown the event support and has helped with donations. The Tonawanda City School District has raised more than $100,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation throughout the years.

At a young age, it’s important for children to not only be concerned with grades but what others are experiencing around them. Davison says the event continues to teach children to care about others and give back. Students also look forward to meeting the “Wish Kid” if she or he decides to come to the event, which they are invited to along with their families.

Children who are learning about empathy can make a difference and help pass on what they learn to their peers as well.

All money raised at the event will support Make-A-Wish and Gene.

To learn more about Make-A-Wish, visit www.wish.org.

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