On Sunday, March 23rd, my family and I participated in the Walk for Wishes at Warwick Mall, to benefit Make-A-WishMassachusetts & RhodeIsland. There were over 350 people in attendance, along with various vendors offering fun activities for children and families, such as face painting, video games, hair and nail accessories, raffles and more! There were several local “celebrities”, such as Paws (from the Pawtucket Red Sox), Samboni (from the Providence Bruins), Jake (from Cat Country radio), the Big Blue Bug, and WJAR’s Cierra Putman, all helping to ensure the success of the event (and helping to keep all the children happily occupied!).
This particular event was chaired by my best friend, Aimee Tortolano, of Smithfield, RI. Aimee is a “wish Mom”, so she is genuinely invested in the work of the organization. “A wish Mom” is the mother of a “wish child”, a child who has been the recipient of a wish granted by Make-A-Wish. In order to become a “wish child”, the child must be between the ages of 2 and 18 with a life-threatening illness, as the mission of Make A Wish is to “grant wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength, and joy.” Aimee’s daughter, Cristina, was diagnosed with Wilm’s Tumor, a rare form of kidney cancer, when she was just 6 years old. While in treatment, Cristina received her wish of meeting Taylor Swift! I am very happy to report that Cristina is now a healthy 9 year-old, and now that they are able, her whole family is giving back to the organization that made such a positive impact on their lives during a very difficult time. Through my friendship with Aimee, I too have become involved with Make-A-WishMassachusetts & RhodeIsland, and this past weekend’s Walk for Wishes was another great way to have some fun while raising money for such a wonderful cause. While the numbers aren’t final yet, they estimate that at least $20,000 was raised, largely from team fundraising efforts. We were proud to be part of Team Cristina’s Crusader’s! Our wish is that the fabulous work of Make-A-Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island can continue for many years to come!
Author: Melanie Loiselle-Mongeon, Vice President of Loiselle Insurance