New organization finances dreams

By Elizabeth zinchuk

A campus organization wants to help children’s last wishes come true.

Wishmakers on Campus’ university chapter is a Registered Student Organization that promotes the Make-a-Wish foundation, an organization driven to grant children with life- threatening medical conditions wishes.

The RSO, which began in December, holds fundraising events to assist the cause, said Tyler Metroff, RSO president and junior from East Peoria studying exercise science.

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He said their first event, a 5k run-walk, will take place at 9 a.m. April 6 near the Douglas Drive beach house. All proceeds will go to the Make-A-Wish foundation, he said.

“We are just doing the 5K race just to get our name out there, because we are such a new organization,” Metroff said.

Metroff said he was encouraged to start the RSO after he volunteered for a Make-A-Wish cystic fibrosis walk in Peoria. Through the foundation, Metroff has met children with fulfilled wishes, he said.

“(A child’s) wish can be anything from wanting to see snow for the first time or go to Disney World,” Metroff said.

Metroff enjoyed volunteering with Make- A-Wish, which is why he wanted to start a university Wishmakers chapter, he said.

“I think the benefits of volunteering for the foundation were just being around the environment and seeing how happy the kids are, and talking to the parents is an awesome experience,” Metroff said.

Metroff said he partnered with lecturer and RSO faculty advisr Kristen Lindbloom to form the organization.

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“(Metroff) has put so much time and effort into this organization,” Lindbloom said.

The money raised goes to a good cause — alleviating financial stresses to allow afflicted children a good time, Metroff said. Wishes can often run as much as $4,000, he said.

“The money goes towards a kid’s family who is so worried about medical bills,” Metroff said. “The family often can’t afford to invest money in other areas beside hospital bills.”

Wishmakers has been an inspiring experience and Metroff encourages others to join the RSO, he said.

“You meet these kids and it just inspires you to try harder and do the best you can to help the situation,” Metroff said.

For more information or biweekly meeting details, Metroff can be reached at [email protected] siu.edu.

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