LIHU‘E — Only a few days have passed since a dance studio was completed in the home of Wish Kid Iris, said Make A Wish Hawai‘i CEO Trini Kaopuiki Clark Saturday at Kukui Grove Center.
Iris, an 8-year-old student at Kapa‘a Elementary School, had always wanted a place to practice dance at home between classes with Dance Fusion Studios in Kapa‘a.
That wish was granted, as Make A Wish Hawai‘i reaches its 40th anniversary of granting life-changing wishes to children with critical illnesses, and the KGC gathering served to launch a statewide tour that will take MAWH to the Queen Ka‘ahumanu Center on Maui on Aug. 13, the Queens’ Marketplace in Waikoloa on Hawai‘i Island on Aug. 20, and wrap up the month of activities on O‘ahu Aug. 27 at the Honolulu Zoo.
“Over the past 40 years, Make A Wish Hawai‘i has seen the power that granting wishes has to transform lives, engage communities in life-changing moments and give children and their families the hope and strength to fight harder against their critical illness,” said Trini Kaopuiki Clark, the MAWH CEO in announcing its 40 years of granting wishes.
“The majority of wish kids go on to live healthy lives and reflect on their wish as a turning point in their recovery journey. With the support of our community, donors, volunteers and our dedicated staff, we look forward to granting wishes for another 40 years,” she said.
Sandwiched between hula presentations from Halau Hula ‘O Leilani, Halau Ka Lei Kukui Hi‘ilani and the Rohotu Polynesian Dance Company and Halau Hula Na Punua O Kaua‘i, Wish Kid Iris joined her dance brothers and sisters of Dance Fusion Studios to fill one of the entertainment slots enhanced by Brenda Biehler of Showtime Characters creating balloon sculptures for all the dancers and shoppers’ keiki, and a table filled with coloring pages manned by Make A Wish Hawai‘i volunteers.
Stories of other Wish Kid wishes, like 6-year-old Kawehi’s of Hanalei, who had her wish granted to visit Walt Disney World (as a VIP) peppered the morning. Wish Kid Payton, 16, of Kapa‘a, was granted a cruise, and Wish Kid Aidan, 13, of Hanapepe, has wishes of going salmon fishing in Alaska.
Clark said the goal of Make A Wish Hawai‘i, in light of its 40 years of granting wishes, is to grant 40 wishes by the end of this year.
• Info: hawaii.wish.org
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: The Garden Island