ST. GEORGE — Monetary wishes were at the command of Tech Ridge businesses that made the largest donation ever to come out of Washington County for Make-A-Wish Utah.
Vasion and four partnering businesses donated $68,557 to Make-A-Wish Utah.
Vasion and their partners from Easy Storage, Zonos, Busybusy and Dixie Technical College spent three weeks holding a series of fundraisers with the goal of granting 12 wishes in Washington County. All of the proceeds from the campaign, known as Tech For Wishes, will be used for granting those wishes.
“We wanted to make sure that we fulfilled that,” Vasion Head of Human Resources Jonathan Malan told St. George News. “On one part, it’s terrible that there’s a need, because kids don’t deserve to be sick. On the other side, it’s humbling and it’s awesome that we can pull together and make a simple request to open up everybody’s checkbooks and it happens.”
Beginning on April 12, Tech Wishes held events, contests and bake sales to fundraise for Make-A-Wish Utah. Their original goal was $2,500, and after quickly surpassing that, they raised it to $60,000 so they could grant more wishes, Dixie Tech chief of staff Brandi Honey said during the check presentation.
“The goal just kept going up and up and up so I think we did pretty well,” Honey said.
“I have to be honest, I’m kind of a little naysayer. I was like, ‘I don’t think we can hit $60,000. That’s a lot of wishes.’”
Make-A-Wish Utah Chief Development Officer Daniel Dudley accepted the check and said that he was inspired and humbled to see so many people support Make-A-Wish and its message about caring for children and families battling illnesses and conditions.
“Wishes don’t happen without advocates behind the scenes,” he told St. George News. “To see such a grassroots effort led by the Tech Wishes team with Zonos, BusyBusy, Dixie Tech, Easy Storage and Vasion, to see them build and motivate the entire community to wrap their arms around the 12 families in Washington County that are waiting for wishes right now has been inspiring.”
After the check presentation, Tech For Wishes surprised two local kids with their wishes.
Andon, 17, is battling cancer and wished for a camping trailer. He and his family joined the presentation over Zoom and were surprised when a Tech For Wishes representative came to their door and handed Andon a certificate saying his wish was granted.
“This is so exciting,” Andon’s mother Cami told the audience. “This is gonna give him his whole life of memories and looking back that he did something really hard and has this to be like, ‘I did it. I accomplished that and got on the other side of it.’”
Riker, 11, also wished for a camping trailer. He and his family attended the event and received their certificate in person. Make-A-Wish Utah was also able to surprise him with a ride in his favorite car, a Lexus. Riker’s mother Melissa said that the family is looking forward to camping at Cedar Mountain and getting out of the heat.
“It means a lot to our family to be able to get something like this for him,” she told the audience. “He’s had a rough road from the very beginning and it really means a lot.”
This was only the first year of Tech For Wishes, Malan said, and the hope is to continue fundraising for wish kids next year and expand.
“There’s nothing stopping Tech For Wishes from being a Utah thing or a nationwide thing,” he said. “Unfortunately, sick kids know no boundaries. There’s sickness everywhere. So the ability that we can partner with someone like Make-A-Wish, who take such good care of the funds to go help those kids, there should be no limits.”
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