Brookhaven, N.Y. – Make-A-Wish Suffolk County partnered with Dowling College Athletics and hosted a Walk For Wishes 5K Run/Walk this afternoon at Golden Lions Field on Dowling’s Brookhaven Campus.
Over 150 student athletes spent the day making a difference and volunteering at the event which involved more than 400 participants and raised over $30,000 for Make-A-Wish.
Craig Nelson, 17, from West Islip, N.Y. planned and organized this event with the hope to raise enough money to grant a child a wish of their own. At 10 years old, he was given the wish of a trip to Disney with his family before having to undergo serious brain surgeries. Now, as a completely healthy and fully recovered high school student, he is a member of the cross country and track teams at his high school, thinking about college and ways to give back to others.
This afternoon Nelson was given the opportunity to present Douglas Grimmett, a six year old boy with a life threatening illness, his wish of going to Disney World. With the help of Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and the Fairy Godmother, Nelson along with Make-A-Wish Suffolk Chapter President and CEO Karine Hollander granted Douglas his wish alongside his parents and younger brother Benjamin.
When asked what the first thing he was going to do when he got to Disney Douglas said, ‘I’m going to see all the characters!” The Fairy Godmother then asked who his favorite character was and with a big smile on his face he answered, “I love them all!’
“It’s probably the greatest feeling I’ve ever felt in my life,” Nelson expressed. “It’s amazing to see little Douglas’ face and he is so happy to take his trip. It’s amazing.”
Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) Vice President Kyle DeMeo said, ”This day means a lot. Make-A-Wish had done so many great things for so many people and being here for this life changing experience has been life changing for myself. It was truly amazing.”
Make-A-Wish grants wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength, and joy. Since its inception in 1983, the Suffolk Chapter has granted over 2,000 wishes to local children. In the past year alone, they have granted 121 wishes.
Provided by the Dowling Sports Information Department.