New fundraiser heads outdoors to raise money for Make-A-Wish
MANNING PARK, B.C.—MAY 2019 Make-A-Wish British Columbia & Yukon is holding its first-ever Trailblaze Challenge, an event where participants are challenged to hike 40 kilometres through Manning Park in one day, and a wish recipient family will be among those making the trek.
In the spring of 2018, Ryker, a then-three-year-old who had endured a critical kidney illness and transplant, had his wish to visit Walt Disney World come true. His mom, Magdalena Stoltman, decided to join the Trailblaze Challenge to help other families see their wishes come true, too.
“Ryker’s wish gave us something to look forward to,” said Magdalena. “We spent three years with life revolving around Ryker’s dialysis, hospitals, and surgeries which didn’t leave much time to really stop and enjoy life fully. Having a wish granted… was that light at the end of the tunnel that showed us life can and will be okay.”
Magdalena pre-registered for the Trailblaze Challenge as soon as she heard about it.
“I’ve always known I would help Make-A-Wish any way I possibly could and this was the perfect opportunity. I’ve traveled to different countries just to hike so a fundraising hike in the beautiful place I’m lucky enough to call home, while helping a foundation I’m eternally grateful to, feels like it was made for me. I’m looking forward to helping other families have the experience we were lucky enough to have.”
The Trailblaze Challenge has become a popular event for numerous Make-A-Wish chapters in the U.S., and Ross Hetherington, CEO, Make-A-Wish BC & Yukon is looking forward to bringing the event into Canadian territory for the first time, September 13-15, 2019.
“Making a wish come true can really change lives for kids and their families during a difficult time,” said Hetherington. “The Trailblaze Challenge is an opportunity to connect with new people and show them the impact of a wish. Together, we can support kids and families in our communities and give them something to look forward to during their health care journey.”
Trailblaze Challenge participants are asked to fundraise $2,000 through their networks to help grant wishes. It’s hoped that the Trailblaze Challenge will help raise funds to grant more than a dozen wishes. Make-A-Wish BC & Yukon is aiming to grant 150 wishes in 2019.
Make-A-Wish BC & Yukon is holding training hikes to get participants prepared for the Trailblaze Challenge at the end of summer. The first training hikes are slated to begin at the end of May.
"We know that a one-day 40 kilometre hike is a challenge, but it’s doable,” said Hetherington. "Our motto for this event is: it's not a race, it’s a journey. Our participant hikers are willing to go on a journey to help kids see their wishes come true.”
For more information visit trailblazechallenge.ca.
Background & Facts Sheet
Date: September 13 – 15, 2019
Hike date: Saturday, September 14
Location: Manning Park
- Manning Park Resort will be the host location for the Trailblaze Challenge event.
- With full resort amenities, participants in the Trailblaze Challenge will be comfortable and well-fed over the duration of the weekend.
- Training hikes will be led by qualified hike leaders—people who bring their passion, and make their living, experiencing the outdoors.
- We will be adding hike leaders as demand may require
- Pinnacle Pursuits has been chosen to help us administer operations in all aspects of the main hike day event.
- Pinnacle is a full-service event consultation, facilitation and management company, in operation since 1997, specializing in large-scale team-building programs and adventure-based events.
- More info on their background and role in our event available here.
- The event is being generously supported and/or sponsored in-kind by numerous groups and companies. Thank you to the following for their support:
Herbaland Nutritional Gummies
DailyHive Vancouver (online media partner)
Old Yale Brewing Co
Manning Park Resort
British Columbia Magazine
- The first training hike and “info social” event for registered and non-registered hikers alike, is taking place Saturday, May 25th at the Lynn Valley Headwaters. More information is available here
Make-A-Wish BC & Yukon Information:
- Make-A-Wish BC & Yukon first opened its doors in 1983. It was the first-ever chapter outside of the United States.
- Since 1983, the chapter has granted almost 2,200 wishes, and nearly 7,000 wishes have been granted across Canada.
- It takes an average of $8,000-$10,000 to grant a single wish.
- We believe that wishes are experiences for whole families; siblings and parents of wish children also experience critical illnesses deeply, so it is important to Make-A-Wish that families be part of granted wishes.
- Make-A-Wish receives no government funding; wishes are granted solely through the generosity of private donors, from individuals, to community groups and businesses.
- For every dollar, 82 cents are spent on our wish-granting mission.
- For more facts and figures, visit https://makeawishbc.ca/about-us/annual-reports