© Guardian photo by Mitch MacDonald
A crowd led by Children's Wish Foundation mascot Roary goes down Prince Street for the 20th annual Wishmaker Walk for Wishes on P.E.I. The event was held in five locations across the province and is the foundation's biggest annual fundraising event.
The streets in Charlottetown were filled with hope on Saturday as the Wishmaker Walk for Wishes celebrated its 20th anniversary of being held on Prince Edward Island.
The walk, which is the year’s biggest fundraising event for the Children’s Wish Foundation P.E.I. Chapter, saw five locations set up throughout the province in Charlottetown, Montague, North Rustico, Summerside and Tignish.
The walk was originally started and only held on P.E.I.
Following the success of the original walk, the event soon spread to other Atlantic provinces and is now held nationally.
“We’re very, very proud of that,” said chapter director Beth Corney Gauthier.
The walk helps the foundation grant heart-felt wishes to children dealing with a life-threatening illness.
Corney Gauthier said this year’s walk was successful, not only as a fundraising initiative but also as a way to raise awareness about the foundation.
It also saw more wish children and family members participating than ever before.
“We’re really excited to see that,” she said. “It’s really what it’s all about and who it’s for.”
It was an extra special day for wish child Sarah Booth, 5, who was the parade’s grand marshal.
Booth got to ride near the front of the parade in a Charlottetown Fire Department truck.
Booth’s mother Pam said her daughter had been looking forward to the event for weeks.
She said seeing so many others participating in the walk was “heart touching.”
“The Children’s Wish Foundation does such a wonderful job. It really does make a difference in the lives of the children and families involved,” said Pam
She knows first-hand the difference the foundation makes, with Sarah eagerly looking forward to her wish to go on an African safari.
“Even though its going to be another probably two years before the trip happens, now she’s watching shows on the Oasis and learning about a different animal every week,” she said. “That’s the positive thing that makes this wish so special, it’s something that really gives her hope.”
Sarah’s grandmother, Cam Booth, also participated in the walk.
The event saw Compass Group as title sponsor, followed by Atlantic and Provincial sponsors RBC Financial Group, CTV, Pepsi Bottling Group, Farmers Dairy, Buy-Rite, Hunter’s, The Sovereign General Insurance Company and Hot 105.5
More information on the walk can be found at www.wishmaker.ca
Totals raised will be in Monday’s print and online edition of the Guardian.