Granting wishes

Royal Purple Elks # 50 members Denise Taylor, Peggy Ganton and Peggy Kugler present a donation to Allyson Toye of the Make-a-Wish Foundation and local wish recipient Anthony Chester. (Peter Lozinski/Daily Herald)

A local service club is doing its part to help a Prince Albert child receive his lifelong wish.

Tuesday afternoon the Royal Purple Elks #50 presented a $500 donation to the Make a Wish Foundation and to Anthony Chester, a 15-year-old boy whose family is one of eight in Prince Albert currently waiting to have their wish come true.

“Once you’re part of the Make a Wish Foundation we say you’re part of the Make a Wish Family,” said regional manager Allyson Toye.

“We are the world’s largest wish-granting organization. We grant wishes to kids between the age of 3 and 17 with a life-threatening medical condition.”

The wishes come in four categories — wish to have, wish to meet, wish to go and wish to be. The average wish costs $10,000. Just over three-quarters of all wishes are travel dreams in the “I wish to go” category.

Chester, whose wish falls into the “have” category, will see his wish fulfilled later this week, in part, thanks to the Royal Purple Elks #50.

The group wanted to contribute “to help this boy out and make his wish come true,” said Peggy Ganton of the Royal Purple Elks.

Donations such as Tuesday’s from the Royal Purple Elks and others from corporations and individuals are what allow the Make a Wish Foundation to fulfill wishes.

“$10,000 per wish is a lot of money,” Toye said.

“We’re working on 102 wishes across our province, and eight in our area. That’s $80,000 we’re putting into this community so donations … we greatly appreciate.”

One of the best parts, Toye said, is watching families’ reactions when the children’s wishes come true.

“Watching a wish come true is one of the most magical, heart-warming experiences, she said.

“Anything you can think of and dream of coming true — being a part of it, you won’t see a dry eye.”

The Royal Purple Elks are just happy to help.

“It feels really good to help this kid out,” Ganton said.

“I know how it would feel if it was one of my kids. I hope he enjoys it.”

For more on Chester’s story and wish, please see Saturday’s Daily Herald.