Make-a-Wish kids celebrated at annual Walk for Wishes

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- The 26th annual Run and Walk for Wishes took place at Henry Maier Festival Park on Saturday morning, August 24th.

The event raises money for Make-a-Wish Wisconsin, an organization that grants the wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses. The organization will grant the wishes of more than 325 kids in 2013, with an average cost of $6,300 per wish.

"The main focus is to raise money for these kids so that we can grant their wishes," said organizer Forrest Doolen.

Five-year-old Zyon Wiggins' wish to meet the Green Bay Packers was granted and nine-year-old Victoria Anderson's wish came true, too.

"I got to go to Hawaii to swim with the dolphins," said Anderson. "They were really soft and they let me pet them, and we got to dance with them."

Doolen added, "it's really important for us to be able to grant every single wish of every child in Wisconsin who has been diagnosed with a life-threatening condition, so fundraisers like this are really important."

The families, in particular, use the funds to shift their focus.

"Even before the trip, we'd focus on our trip. We didn't focus on our next infusion, our next doctor's appointment or our next therapy schedule. It was just all about that wish, and it still is," explained Victoria's mother, Brenda Anderson.

Almost 3,000 people participated in this year's event. Organizers say the Run and Walk for Wishes will raise nearly $200,000 for Make-a-Wish Wisconsin. FOX6's Chief Meteorologist Vince Condella was the emcee.