Press Release – Make A Wish NZ
On October 31st, the only New Zealand charity to grant wishes will be celebrating their 25-year anniversary. Make-A-Wish NZ, the charity that grants the wishes of children living with life-threatening medical conditions, is 25 years old and still …25 Years of Magic!
On October 31st, the only New Zealand charity to grant wishes will be celebrating their 25-year anniversary. Make-A-Wish NZ, the charity that grants the wishes of children living with life-threatening medical conditions, is 25 years old and still going strong.
The Make-A-Wish organisation started in Arizona, USA in 1980, when Christopher Greicius wished he could be a police officer.
At the age of 7, Chris was diagnosed with leukaemia. After learning that Chris’ biggest wish was to be a police officer, the Arizona State Troopers began preparing to make his wish come true.
Chris was taken for a ride in a police helicopter and a patrol car, and was given his very own uniform. He was even sworn in as an honorary member of the force. Sadly, Chris passed away shortly after, but the Make-A-Wish dream was born, and has since extended its wish giving throughout the world. Make-A-Wish started in New Zealand 25 years ago, with Daniel – the four year old who wished for Christmas in October.
Make-A-Wish volunteers organised for Santa and his elves to arrive on a fire engine with a sack full of presents for Daniel, and he even got to go for a ride! Roy Billing, a.k.a. “Santa” says Daniel’s wish day was truly amazing, and that the little boy had an absolute ball.
“Daniel was so excited! He had such a fun time, and felt so special having his very own Christmas. I think his family had a great day as well – it created an unforgettable memory for them to treasure after he was gone. It was a humbling experience to be a part of.”
Thousands of wishes have since been granted to Kiwi kids like Daniel, in fact, over 160 wishes are granted every year. Dreams of meeting a celebrity, being a hero for the day, or being reunited with friends and family far away have all been granted.
Make-A-Wish is about helping kids forget their illness – even if only for a day – and giving them a special moment of joy and excitement to live out their dreams and enjoy time with family. The New Zealand office grants more wishes per capita than any other affiliate around the world.
Carolyn MacDonell, CEO of Make-A-Wish NZ, says she is thrilled that the organisation is still making magic happen after 25 years.
“At Make-A-Wish we are dedicated to making every eligible child’s wish come true,” she says. “We’ve brought so many moments of happiness and excitement to seriously ill Kiwi kids over the last 25 years. It’s been wonderful to be a part of. We’re looking forward to making many more wishes come true over the next 25 years.”
So Happy Birthday Make-A-Wish New Zealand! It’s been 25 years – keep making Kiwi kids’ dreams come true for many more.
Make-A-Wish’s 25th anniversary will be celebrated on October 31st 2011.