‘Walk for Wishes’ raises $140,000 for Make a Wish Foundation

Posted at 9:55 PM, Oct 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-01 21:55:36-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A little rain didn't stop hundreds of people from supporting the 'Walk for Wishes' event Saturday morning. The walk raises money for Make a Wish Foundation to help grant wishes for kids in Michigan battling life-threatening illnesses.

Saturday's walk raised $140,000 to help grant wishes, but for many of the families attending the event at John Ball Zoo on Saturday, the program did a lot more for their family than they could've ever expected.

"Make a Wish has become a huge part of our lives," said Chris Timmer, a Make a Wish parent. "Our son, Kai, received his wish of a barn-themed play house this spring. Make a Wish has become family to us so we love to take part any way that we can."

The Timmer family is not alone. Hundreds of people came out to John Ball Zoo on Saturday for the Walk for Wishes. Many of the families are Make a Wish families.

"When you are one of those families and those kids and you see what the Make a Wish program can do, it's magical," said Erin Fredericks, a Make a Wish parent. "It's moving."

Erin's son, Lucas, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a rare form of cancer. Now in remission, they want to do something to help out other families.

"That was one thing that got him through and we're really grateful for that," said Fredericks. "We wanted to make sure that our family did something to give back to other families."

The money raised from Saturday's walk will help other kids, like Kai and Lucas, have their wishes granted.

"Wishes are not cheap," said Tod Nyson, co-chair for the West Michigan Committee of the Make a Wish Foundation. "The average wish is $10,000 and if you grant 400 wishes per year in Michigan, you can see it's a lot of money. We're just trying to fundraise, increase awareness around Make a Wish and just make a difference."

The Walk for Wishes website will be leaving their donation page up online for a few more weeks to try and raise as much money as they can. To donate, click here.