Heavy rains on the morning of the walk did not deter individuals and corporate partners from attending to support the more than 380 Arizona wish kids scheduled to have a wish granted this year. Unfortunately, safety prevented the walk from starting.
All dollars were raised by individuals and corporate teams who registered for free for the walk and then raised funds through friends, family and co-workers. More than 147 teams and 2,100 individuals were scheduled to participate in the morning’s festivities but the weather did not cooperate.
“As a wish kid, I am blown away by everyone who came here this morning to participate in the Walk, even with the weather,” said Arizona wish kid Buddy Padilla. Buddy, who wished to go to New York City to see the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, was a co-host of the event with Channel 5 morning anchor Yetta Gibson. “To see how people come together to make other kids like me have an incredible wish experience shows you that there is still good people in the world.”
With the average cost of a wish approximately $10,000, the money raised by the Walk For Wishes will help grant more than 25 Arizona wishes.
Top fundraisers – both individuals and teams – were recognized following the walk with special presentations at their offices and/or The Parsons Wish House. Winners included:
Top Fundraising Individuals
1) Rezwan Manji and Kaleim Manji, Team Spears – $10,000 each
2) Lynn Loden, Team Catherine AZTV – $1,350
3) Jayne Bowman, Arizona wish kid – $1,200
Top Fundraising Team
1) Mountainside Fitness — $33,000
2) Jack in the Box — $25,000
3) YAM Worldwide — $23,000
Largest Team was the ASU Chi Omegas with more than 190 team members.
“The Walk has become a signature event for our chapter, allowing our supporters to mingle with our wish kids and their families as they too commit to raising money for other wish kids,” said Elizabeth Reich, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish Arizona. “The rain certainly dampened our fun on the day of the event but did not dampen the spirit of the more than 25 wish kids who will benefit from the dollars that people raised or the more than 2,000 participants who helped to raise those funds.”
The Phoenix Walk For Wishes is an annual event for all ages held at Tempe Marketplace.