This year, due to the closing of Dowling College, we unfortunately had to cancel our annual Walk for Wishes which is a 5K walk/run event that is usually held at the Dowling College Brookhaven Campus located in Shirley. We rely heavily not only on the support of the venue and administrators but the help of the student athletes as well in regards to registration, entertainment, handing out water bottles and directing walkers and runners through the course. This event has allowed us to grant over three wishes to children in Suffolk County battling a life-threatening medical condition in the past.
With Dowling’s doors being shut so close to the time of our event, we had no choice but to cancel. Having an office staff of only seven, restarting with a new venue, having to find all new hands to help, and registering the course in such a small amount of time would have not only been overwhelming but an almost impossible task to complete.
One of our Board Members, Kevin Modica, decided to sign his team up for the Tough Mudder Long Island event, which was held on July 23rd at the Old Bethpage Restoration Village in Old Bethpage. They named their team "Mudding for Wishes" and raised money to help grant the wish of 16 year-old Brian from Patchogue who has been battling a malignant brain tumor. Brian made a wish to go on an Alaskan Cruise with his family this summer. The team trained hard for the 10 mile endurance course filled with obstacles which included barbed wire, tall walls and electric shock therapy. The team's original monetary goal at $17,500 but by July 23rd, the team had exceeded that goal and had raised $21,000!
Brian and his family attended the Tough Mudder event to show their support for team Mudding for Wishes! He withstood the heat and sun to encourage the team to never give up, something that Brian is very familiar with.
Due to the funds raised, Brian and his family left for their trip on July 25th, two days after the Tough Mudder. He was able to see wild bald eagles, bears, seals and other Alaskan wild life. Brian also got to experience the breaking of a glacier and sailing through the icy waters of Alaska. In his words, "This was the trip of a lifetime".
We would like to give our sincerest thank you to Team Mudding For Wishes for all of their hard work and effort that went into making Brian’s wish come true as well as all of the people who supported them along the way.
Although the team was able to grant Brian's wish, Make-A-Wish® Suffolk County is still feeling the loss of their walk-a-thon and have created a call-to-action to help raise more funds to grant wishes to children in Suffolk County. They are asking for supporters to post on their social media using the hashtag #fearless4wishes and donate to http://site.wish.org/goto/fearless4wishes.