Tonawanda News

Local News

March 21, 2014

Tonawanda School District holds fundraising for Make-A-Wish

Tonawanda News — Teachers swapped their schoolbooks for sneakers Thursday night to play dodgeball in the Tonawanda district’s annual Make-A-Wish fundraiser that hundreds of residents attended.

The event was one of many that the district hosts throughout the year to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which arranges special trips and events for children with life-threatening illnesses.

“The district has been fundraising for Make-A-Wish for more than 10 years,” Make-A-Wish of Western New York Development Manager Mary Hazel said. “They do all sorts of creative things, and last year, they raised $12,000.”

The schools hold a wide variety of fundraisers, including a raffle students can enter to be a principal for a day, spirit weeks and dress-down days. With help from the district and many other organizations, the local chapter of Make-A-Wish grants 150 dreams every year.

The group helps kids like Jacob Fiorella, an 8-year-old from Grand Island who has been diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a disease that causes the heart muscle to thicken. Jacob, who attended Thursday’s events, is unable to play sports due to an increased risk of a cardiac event.

“I want to thank everyone here,” he said to the large crowd and dozens of student volunteers at Tonawanda High School. “My wish is coming true next week when I will go on a Disney Cruise and swim with dolphins.”

His mom, Jill, said the trip will allow her family a break from the stresses and doctor visits.

“It’s hard when you have a child that has a condition you can’t do anything about,” she said. “All we want to do is make sure he has the best time ever.”

Kindergarten teacher Susan Heiss started the district’s fundraising efforts 13 years ago after one of her students, who had a severe heart problem, was able to travel to Walt Disney World thanks to Make-A-Wish.

Text Only
Local News
Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page
NDN Video
Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee Senators Push to End Hamas Threat in Cease-Fire A Young Victim's Premonition, Hug Before MH17 Raw: Deadly Storm Hits Virginia Campground Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands