Walking for wishes

Wishmaker parade raises $10,000-plus

The Children’s Wish Foundation Wishmaker Parade raised enough money for a wish, and a head start on another. Saturday’s festivities raised $10,200 — a slight bit more than the $10,000 the charity requires to fulfill a wish.

Ahead of the noon parade of kids, students, and vintage cars — all led by a piper — organizer Donna Richard outlined the Foundation’s expectations.

“The general mission is to raise at least enough money to grant a wish,” Richard said. “Theoretically, I’d like to raise enough for two; we’ll shoot for one, but anything after that’s a bonus.”

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The $10,000 is an amount that can catch people off guard, but once a bit of reality and practicality set it, it adds up.

“A lot of times it’s a wish for — well, let’s say the Disney wish,” Richard explained, “that includes siblings, as well as parents. So if a child has two siblings, that’s five people we’re sending. We’ve even had wishes like Criss Angel’s Mindfreak … things like that. So when you think about it, it’s in that range.”

Funds were also raised by mini events on site at the Glasgow Pup, from where the parade set off, and through a 50/50 and a barbecue.

Richard said she was happy with not only the turnout, but the younger slant of it.

“This is really good,” Richard said. “A lot of youth. That’s what I like to see, is the youth. The school, and Jeana’s Girls, and my grandchildren have got a team in as well.”

A team made of Northumberland Regional High School students took part and raised money in the weeks leading up to the event, as did Jeana’s Girls — a fundraising group of teenage girls from Pictou, who also served as the parade’s marshals. Wish child Daniel Arsenault led the walk from the passenger seat of an MG roadster.

Nina Davey of Jeana’s Girls was the winner of the Jeana English Memorial Award for the highest youth fundraiser.