Walking for Wishes

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How many lives can be changed in two miles?

The answer can be found this weekend at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine from 8 a.m. to noon. The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Orange County and the Inland Empire is holding their 2nd Annual Walk for Wishes to fundraise to grant wishes for kids in OC and surrounding areas.

Last year’s the Orange County and Inland Empire Walk for Wishes had about 1,100 participants and was the most successful inaugural MAW walk for any chapter in the nation.

“Our first walk, held last April, was a huge success and so much fun. We raised approximately $115,000 and we were able to grant 17 wishes,” said public relations and campaign coordinator for Make-A-Wish OC and Inland Empire, Colleen Donovan. “Our goal this year will be to double participants, funds raised, wishes granted and the fun had by all.”

Walking alongside the parents, friends, and family members, will be student, business and social groups and many more, including the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce team.

The “Newport Beach Chamber Rocks!” team will consist of about 20 chamber ambassadors and their friends and family, said team captain, Kris Patton.

“It will be a great day,” she said.

This is what the chamber is all about, she said. The Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce is different than others, she added, because even as a non-profit organization itself, they highlight and support many other good causes and charities in a variety of ways.

It’s a unique quality to highlight non-profit organizations like this, she said, or in other ways the NB chamber does it, like at a luncheon or other events.

“We’re always looking to support non-profits,” Patton said, that is part of the core values behind the chamber and its members, she added.

“It’s an example of what we represent,” Patton said. “Members have a love for each other and a willingness to support each other.”

The Make-A-Wish Foundation’s OC and Inland Empire chapter is a member of the NB chamber.

It’s also a great event to do with your colleagues, it’s a bonding experience, and it’s fun to see them in a different setting than usual.

The charity walk event will include a “World of Wishes” festival, featuring family fun activities, food and items up for raffle. The festival will showcase booths for each kid of wish experience: To have, to be, to go, and to meet. Participants can also enjoy free rides on the Great Park Balloon.

The public will also get to meet with wish kids and families to learn about their experiences.

The non-competitive two mile walk for teams and individuals. On-site registration is $40 on the day of the walk.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to “enrich the human experience with hope, strength, and joy.” The Orange County and Inland Empire chapter has granted over 2500 wishes to children in the local community over the past 20 years.

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