October 17, 2006 > Make a wish
Make a wish
by Vidya Pradhan
Veronica Johnson's beautiful baby boy, Dylan, was diagnosed with a severe heart problem even before he left the hospital as a newborn. He soldiered on for another 22 months with the help of treatment and surgery but Veronica knew he was living on borrowed time. She decided to contact the Make-A-Wish foundation to see if Dylan could experience the joys of a normal kid in his short time here.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation was inspired in 1980 by the love that a family and friends had for 7 year old Chris Greicius, who had leukemia. Chris dreamed of becoming a police officer for a day, and his family and friends in the state highway patrol made his wish come true - complete with a uniform, a helicopter ride and an honorary police badge. Chris' mother and those who helped to grant his wish created Make-A-Wish in his memory, enabling his legacy to live on. Make-A-Wish grants the wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses. In 2000, 20 years after Chris donned his police uniform, the Make-A-Wish Foundation granted its 80,000th wish. To date, more than 135,000 wishes have been granted to children with life-threatening medical conditions in the United States and its territories.
Within 4 days, Veronica heard back from Make-A-Wish. A volunteer was sent to her house to interview Dylan and even though he was not yet 3 years old, they decided to grant his wish because it was so clear and strong. His wish? To see Mickey Mouse.
Dylan and his family spent a magical week at Disneyland. He passed away shortly afterwards and Veronica was immensely grateful to the foundation for making Dylan's dream come true. In her own small way, she wanted to give back to this wonderful organisation and came up with the idea of holding a Bowl-A-Thon to raise funds for the Greater Bay Area chapter of the Make-A-Wish foundation.
This year marks the 7th Annual Memorial Bowl-A-Thon in the memory of Dylan Johnson. Veronica's goal is to attract 180 bowlers, up from 128 last year. As always, the event features a live auction for Raiders, Niners, Warriors and Sharks tickets. The big ticket item is a trip to Disneyland which has been a wonderful partner for the foundation. There will be bumper bowling for the kids. The goal this year is to raise 8,000 dollars, roughly the cost of making one child's wishes come true.
In Veronica's own words. "My goal? To give another child out there the gift of a wish....Dylan Michael taught me never take anything for granted, live life to the fullest, and grant wishes."
One-hundred percent of the proceeds go directly to the Greater Bay Area Make-A-Wish Foundation. All donations are tax deductible (Federal Tax I.D. #94-2958-481). Veronica is still looking for sponsors for the raffle but any sponsorship is greatly appreciated.
If you are unable to attend but would like to participate, please send your donations to the address below. Checks should be made payable to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Remember, every little bit helps and your support will go a long way in granting a child's wish.
Registration for the event begins at 12:30 p.m. and the bowling starts at 1 p.m. the cost is 15 dollars per person and includes 3 games and shoes.
Saturday, October 21, 2006
7th annual Dylan Johnson Memorial Bowl-A-Thon
Cloverleaf Family Bowl
40645 Fremont Blvd., Fremont, CA 94539
Greater Bay Area Make-A-Wish Foundation
C/o Dylan Johnson
235 Pine Street, 6th floor
San Francisco 94104
For more information on the Make-A-Wish Foundation, visit www.wish.org or call (415) 982-9474.