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John R. Hall
John R. Hall Member Posts: 2,246
My wife and I volunteered to help out today at the finish line for the Make-A-Wish "Wish-A-Mile" Bike Marathon, sponsored by the Michigan Chapter of Make-A-Wish. I was impressed with this organization since Luxaire became a sponsor and pledged a quarter-million dollars each year to the organization.

Today I witnessed little children who are terminally ill, some who will not live to see their fourth or fifth birthdays, others who are living on borrowed time and still holding on, and still others who are winning their battle against the deadly diseases that ravage their little bodies.

These kids and their families came out to cheer their "heroes" -- the riders who had to gather at least $500 in pledges to enter the race; and some of them wound up with thousands of dollars in pledges. These kids held up signs for their heroes -- some 410 riders -- and hung hero medallions around their necks after they reached the finish line. Some of these kids were so happy to meet and greet the riders, many of whom they had never met before. Each rider wore an embroidered wristband with the name of the child they were "riding for." One group of riders specifically pledged money for a two-year-old girl, only to find that she had to leave the event early because the heat and humidity was making her too sick. One rider sadly said "All I wanted to do was hug her."

There were times when I had to put my sunglasses on to hide the tears in my eyes. What I saw had and will continue to have a profound affect on me. And I am determined to learn more about Make-A-Wish and volunteer my time for this wonderful organization. If you'd like more info, please read about the group in my 7/28 column.

And I think about how petty life can get sometimes and how I complain about the dumbest things. Then I think of these kids and I am humbled and ashamed. We have two wonderful and healthy young children -- and I am the richest person in the world for it.

By the way, the three-day event raised $545,000, enough to grant 85 wishes. That is awesome.
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