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News Strike a ball and make a wish

Strike a ball and make a wish

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Paul Harral
Paul is a lifelong journalist with experience in wire service, newspaper, magazine, local and network television and digital media. He was vice president and editor of the editorial page of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and editor of Fort Worth, Texas magazine before joining the Business Press. What he likes best is writing about people in detail and introducing them to others in the community. Specific areas of passion are homelessness, human trafficking, health care and aerospace.

Every golfer standing over the ball wishes for a miracle. But not every golfer has the ability to make wishes come true.

Unless the ball is at River Crest Country Club on April 23.

That would be at the 8th annual Wish Upon A Par scramble tournament. The annual fundraiser kicks off with registration at 10:30 a.m., and par for the course would be at least the $157,000 the charity tournament raised last year. Organizers are hoping to raise $200,000 through individual teams and sponsorships.

“It’s a good excuse to get out and not have to work on a Monday,” says Robbie Aaron, communications manager for Make-A-Wish North Texas. “And obviously for a good cause, too.”

And the money stays home, Aaron said. “There’s kids in every neighborhood, so if you’re raising the money in Fort Worth, the money’s going to be right there.”

The vision of Make-A-Wish is to grant the wish of every eligible child, but sometimes there is a misunderstanding about that word eligible. It’s not just children with a terminal illness.

“That’s actually our biggest misconception,” Aaron said.

“Medical research is revealing that wishes provide physical and emotional benefits that can give children with critical illnesses a higher chance of survival as well,” he said. “Obviously, that’s not always the case, but the wish is a means for them to fight, give them something to fight for, give them something to give them hope and confidence, and it’s a really amazing addition to the medicine that they’re receiving.”

Many people are drawn to work for an organization like Make-A-Wish because of personal experience with a loved one or the child of a close friend. But that’s not the case with Aaron.

“I have no personal connection, but I always loved going to visit children in the hospital and knowing the impact that Make-A-Wish has on these kids,” he said.

“When this position came open, it was a no-brainer for me,” Aaron said. But he does see that connection in co-workers.

“There are so many people that have connections to Make-A-Wish that work here, because they see how important these wishes are,” he said.

The need is great.

“Right now, the demand for wishes is at an all-time high,” Aaron said. “Medical professionals, our referral sources, see the impact of a wish and they’re referring at record rates, but funding is what determines the rate at which we can grant these wishes, so we need as much money as we can to be able to grant these life-changing wishes.”

Events like Wish Upon a Par raises awareness, he said. But more important is that it also raises money to grant the wishes.

Individual foursomes are not available since it is a sponsorship-only event, Aaron said. A sponsorship includes four golfers and other perks and benefits depending on the cost. Sponsorships range from $25,000 for a title sponsorship to $500 for a hole sponsorship.

Make-A-Wish says that it has granted more than 10,000 wishes in North Texas since 1982, and 677 last year alone. The average cost of granting a child’s wish is $9,784.

For more information or to secure a sponsorship, contact: wuap@ntx.wish.org or call 817-953-6371.

For general information on Make a Wish, see: ntx.wish.org

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