Make-A-Wish® Foundation of Southern Alberta
Our Story Why We Exist
Outgoing, inquisitive, intelligent, engaging, talkative – these are just a few words we’d use to describe Connolly, a 10-year old boy, who had his once-in-a-lifetime wish granted.
Connolly went through brain surgery after being diagnosed with a tumour on his brain stem, hydrocephalus (excess fluid on his brain) and syrinx (a fluid-filled cavity in his spinal cord). Connolly’s condition was discovered when one of his brothers (Connolly and his brothers are triplets) suffered a concussion in a hockey game and entered a concussion study group at the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary. Connolly was asked to participate in the study as the “healthy” baseline brain which they would compare to the concussed brain. The MRI on Connolly’s brain led to the discovery of his serious medical conditions.
Despite his diagnosis, Connolly never gave up his love of hockey and his wish was to join the Winnipeg Jets NHL team. He was especially excited to meet his favourite player, Adam Lowry. Connolly was adamant that his brothers be included in his wish experience and every time he was asked about his wish he requested that his brothers be able to do the same things he would be doing. When we asked Connolly why he wanted to include his brothers in all aspects of his wish, he said, “I love them and also I didn’t want them to feel left out as they are Jets fans too, though not as big a fan as me.”
Connolly, along with his brothers and their parents, travelled to Winnipeg, where they were greeted at the airport by Mick E. Moose, a mascot sent by the Jets to welcome Connolly to the city.
Later, “Chevy”, the General Manager of the Jets, welcomed Connolly to the team and signed him to a two-day NHL contract, making Connolly the youngest Winnipeg Jet in the team’s history! Connolly’s mom said that watching her son on the ice, practicing with the Jets and hanging out with his new teammates was a priceless experience and definitely helped Connolly get over the loss of his own hockey season due to his health issues.
According to Connolly and his family, the entire weekend was “more than we could ever have hoped for, or dreamed of.”
Connolly is doing well and his family hopes that he will be able to play hockey in the upcoming season. His mom Aisling said that the memories of his wish experience help improve his mood, even on his toughest days.
Thank you to the Winnipeg Jets for their generosity and for making Connolly’s wish an unforgettable experience.
When a wish is granted, it does much more than bring joy to a child’s heart. For kids like Connolly, who are faced with life-threatening medical conditions, a wish-come-true provides them with strength to battle through darkness and gives them hope for healthier, happier days ahead. Be part of the magic and transform the lives of children facing life-threatening medical conditions. Help grant a wish by donating today.
Our Impact What We Do
Make-A-Wish® Southern Alberta grants the wishes of children aged three through 17 years old with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. Along with the national office, eight regional chapters grant magical wishes to children in need from coast-to-coast. Make-A-Wish Canada® is an affiliate of Make-A-Wish® International, the largest wish-granting organization in the world, making dreams and wishes come true for more than 350,000 children since 1980.
WHY WE GRANT WISHES
Wishes inspire children to battle through their medical struggles and fight illness.
Wishes create an entire community of support around the child.
Wishes gives parents hope and strengthens the entire family.
We know that the impact of a wish goes beyond the child. Our Wish Impact Study told us a lot about how important wishes are not only to wish kids, but to the child’s family, the medical professionals treating them, and the volunteers assisting with the wish.
- Last year we granted wishes to 50 children in Southern Alberta.
- Since 1995, we have granted the wishes of more than 475 children in Southern Alberta.
Our Programs How We Do It
We believe that each wish experience should be as unique and special as the child who wished for it. With the help of a dedicated team of volunteers we give each wish child and their family the personal attention they deserve.
All funds raised in Southern Alberta support local wish granting efforts. However, as an affiliate of Make-A-Wish® International, we are able to collaborate with our 48 affiliates around the globe to make wishes come true. This means we can partner with our Make-A-Wish affiliates to send Canadian wish children to international destinations with ease.
Make-A-Wish Southern Alberta could not operate without generous community support. The Foundation works closely with corporate and private donors to ensure all eligible Southern Alberta children with life-threatening medical conditions have their wishes granted.
THE FOUR TYPES OF WISHES
I wish to go...
I wish to be...
I wish to have...
I wish to meet...
Our Requests What You Can Do
Help share the power of a wish®.
There are many ways you can help to bring hope, strength and joy to children who really need it. No matter how you choose to get involved, when you're a part of the Make-A-Wish® network, the support of generous people like you empowers us to make each magical wish a reality.
Explore the many ways you can help below or call (403) 228-3666 or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org for more information:
DONATE and transform the life of a child. You give children with life-threatening medical conditions a reason to hope for a brighter future. And most of all, you help make their magical wishes come true.
REFER A CHILD to turn a child's wish into a reality.
HOLD A FUNDRAISER with you friends, family or colleagues to raise money and bring people together. Whether you’re an individual, employee, organization or community, every bit of support goes a long way to grant the wishes of Southern Alberta children.
Types of possible fundraisers include:
- Adopt-A-Wish®: When you give through the Adopt-A-Wish program, you’re able to follow the journey of one special child as they receive your support in making their magical wish come true.
- Third Party Events: Plan an event and collect proceeds for Make-A-Wish such as:
- Walk-a-thons, golf tournaments, sports tournaments
- Gift with donation, silent auctions
- BBQs, bake sales, pizza lunches, dessert promotions
- Customer appreciation days, casual days
- Garage sales, car washes
Employee Giving: Opportunities include wish granting funds, in-kind resources, employee engagement/volunteerism, networking on behalf of Make-A-Wish and much more. If you would like to coordinate an Employee Giving program in your community, please email email@example.com.
Students for Wishes: We work with a dedicated student volunteer executive that raises awareness and funds for our cause. Usually, they’re set up as an on-campus club and help to offer students an opportunity to give back to their community through various events and fundraising campaigns.
Kids for Wish Kids®: Through responsibility and big hearts, children form a committee, come up with fundraising ideas and ensure they are carried out. While teachers and parents sometimes serve as advisors, the kids are the ones who run the show! They can organize almost anything from a bake sale, to a dance marathon, a car wash and much more.
Hair Massacure: Hair Massacure is a local event where individuals can show their support for children affected by life-threatening illnesses by pinking, shaving or donating their hair. All proceeds will support Ronald McDonald House® Southern Alberta and Make-A-Wish® Southern Alberta.
Make-A-Wish®Rope for Hope: A unique and challenging event that calls on participants to raise pledges to rappel down a high-profile building in their location. Monies raised support wish granting efforts.
SUPPORT A CAMPAIGN: Make-A-Wish Southern Alberta has ongoing efforts to ensure that we are always doing what we can to make wishes come true. You can support us through one of our seasonal campaigns or annual events.
VOLUNTEER: Give the most valuable gift of all – time. Volunteers hard work, passion and commitment to giving children a magical wish experience make them the heart and soul of our foundation. As a volunteer, you’ll change the lives of many children – and your own.
Learn more about how to get involved.