Businesses, foundation collaborate to make wishes come true for critically ill youth in Southern Utah

ST. GEORGE — The Make-A-Wish Foundation collaborated with Vasion and other local businesses to help make wishes come true for critically ill young people on Monday.

Make-A-Wish Utah CEO Jared Perry speaking to an audience gathered at Vasion headquarters in St. George, Utah, April 12, 2021 | Photo by David Dudley, St. George News

Robyn Clayton, human resources coordinator for Vasion, said that the company is trying to raise money as part of a community-wide effort to make wishes come true for critically ill kids in Southern Utah and beyond.

“We’d like to help as many kids as possible to have this experience,” she told St. George News. “That’s why we’re collaborating with as many businesses as possible.”

Joshua Aikens, chief of staff at Zonos, first got involved with Make-A-Wish two years ago. He said they were trying to make some things happen, but COVID-19 made them step back and pause.

“During that time, we reached out to some other companies and it caught fire,” Aikens told St. George News.

Ryker Wall, 10, and his mom, Melissa, at Vasion headquarters in St. George, Utah, April 12, 2021 | Photo by David Dudley, St. George News

Among the local businesses that are raising funds from Monday through April 23 are Dixie Tech and Easy Storage Solutions. Dixie Tech is hosting a picnic on Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Easy Storage Solutions is holding a golf tournament April 21.

Jared Perry, CEO of Make-A-Wish Utah spoke to an audience of about 100 at Vasion headquarters on Tech Ridge on Monday.

“We come into kids’ lives when they’re at their worst,” Perry said, “and try to bring out the best in them.”

One of the two kids whose wishes would come true was present. Ryker Wall, a 10-year-old boy from St. George, received a birthday cake made by Frosted on Top, a Matchbox play-set and the promise of a pop-up camper.

“I was in chemo when I applied to Make-A-Wish,” Ryker’s mom, Melissa Wall, told the audience. “I wanted to do something for my kids, but I felt like I couldn’t.”

Wall said her son loves the outdoors, so the pop-up camper would enable him to enjoy camping trips with his family.

Perry told St. George News that getting involved with Make-A-Wish – which creates life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses – improves the overall health of children.

“According to recent studies, wishes improve the overall emotional and physical health of these kids,” Perry said. “With this effort, we’re trying to find partners in St. George to raise funds to make a difference in these kids’ lives.”

Those interested in donating may do so online. There is also an auction.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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