2017 Walk for Wishes® was presented by Publix and raised funds for local wishes

The 7th Annual Walk For Wishes® 5K Walk/Run presented by Publix benefitted Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida and was held Saturday, February 25 at Florida Gulf Coast University. The walk/run was filled with high energy, family fun and tons of supporters as wish families and participants crossed the finish line.

More than 1,200 people participated in the walk/run which raised over $115,000 to grant wishes to local children with life-threatening medical conditions. The monies raised from the event by teams, businesses and individuals will help grant approximately 23 wishes.

The event was opened by wish child Lauren Major who sang the National anthem and Dorothy Blasingim and Tammy Teece, Walk for Wishes Chairs, helped to welcome everyone and also helped to present the top teams and individuals with framed awards for their hard work.

Winning teams were:
Largest Walk Team with 121 participants – Publix
Top Fundraising Individual with $5,350 goes to Jane Farnsworth
Top Fundraising Volunteer Team with $5,668 goes to The Wish Trekkers
Top Fundraising Wish Family Team – raised $1,740 goes to Team #Addytude
Top Fundraising Team raised $15,276 goes to Regions

Congratulations were given to teams who granted at least one wish, they were: Team Regions – 3 wishes, Brooks & Freund – 1 wish, and Wish Trekkers – 1 wish.

Wishes enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. Proceeds from the event helped ensure that every medically-eligible child receives a wish which offers a much-needed retreat from doctors and hospitals, helping them focus on just being a kid again.

The certified timed 5K Walk/Run fundraiser included participants of all ages and was followed by a special ‘Family Fun Day’ which included face painting, a rock wall, bounce house, balloon artist and other exciting activities. Participants enjoyed a variety of free food and beverages provided by sponsors and vendors.

Taking the winning spots in overall male and female divisions were Ashby Belcastro and Molly Carlin. A complete list of runners and times may be found at https://runsignup.com/race/results/?raceId=44631#resultSetId-56991

Making the day possible are sponsors: Publix, Family Thrift Center, Regions, Shoreline Carpet Supplies, Trusted Choice, Feil Wood Flooring and Stairs, Gunterberg Charitable Foundation, Health Fund Solutions, Institute for Entrepreneurship and Business & Entrepreneurship Student Club at FGCU, Joey D’s Restaurant, Lake Michigan Credit Union, Lee Health, Mutual of Omaha Bank, Scott M. Craven, Seminole Casino Hotel Immokalee, Island Coast Pediatrics, It’s IT, Neaher Law, Once Upon A Child, R&R Sprinkler and Sod, and Red’s Ok Tire.

Make-A-Wish Southern Florida grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. The Southern Florida chapter grants a wish every 16 hours and has granted more than 10,000 wishes since its inception in 1983. The chapter’s vision is to make every eligible child’s wish come true. For more information about Make-A-Wish, visit www.sfla.wish.org or call 239-992-9474.

This article was submitted by a Guest Author of the Above Board Chamber.