Androscoggin County is getting behind Make-A-Wish.

In 2012, people here raised $18,387 for the charity, according to Make-A-Wish Maine Marketing and Communications Director Sonya Purington.

Last year, that was up to more than $55,000.

“We’ve had a big surge in volunteers, in people running events and raising money for Make-A-Wish,” she said. “The reality is kids in Androscoggin County are getting their wish because people in Lewiston-Auburn are leaning in and making it happen.”

The group works with children facing life-threatening illnesses such as cancer, and in just the last year added cystic fibrosis and seizure disorders to that list. It granted seven wishes in Androscoggin County this past year and seven are scheduled for this year. 

“We know that wishes bring hope that things can get better,” Purington said. “(It brings) strength to keep on going, to get to the next appointment, to get to the next pill. That little bit of a distraction gives kids the strength to keep on going.”

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The average cash cost of a wish is $7,000; often extra labor or help is volunteered.

Maine Oxy funded Jarod Farrar’s wish for a family trip to Hawaii with its annual golf tournament.

Another local wish underway: a 4-year-old boy in Mechanic Falls with cystic fibrosis who is getting a giant play set in his backyard.

His wish is being funded by an event last summer put on by Uncle Andy’s and Mac’s Grill that raised $14,000. This year, those two businesses are collaborating with the Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and hope to raise $28,000 at an Aug. 13 event at Mac’s Grill.

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The annual local Walk for Wishes fundraiser for Make-A-Wish is scheduled for May 19 in Auburn, kicking off in Festival Plaza at 6 p.m.

For more information, visit www.maine.wish.org.


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