Disney is known for partnering with Make-A-Wish and granting wishes to deserving children. Countless children have had their wishes come true at a Disney theme park! This week, Disneyland hosted a fundraiser to give even more children opportunities to have their wishes come true.
On Tuesday night, the Disneyland Resort and Make-A-Wish Orange County & the Inland Empire and Make-A-Wish Greater Los Angeles joined forces to host a Galaxy of Wishes fundraising event in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. The first-of-its-kind event on the planet of Batuu provided the perfect backdrop to demonstrate the wonder of imagination as guests were able to have their own wish fulfilled of being immersed in the Star Wars universe.
The upcoming Disneyland Ambassadors, Mark and Nataly were on hand with Disneyland Resort President Ken Potrock to celebrate the longstanding relationship with partners and friends from Make-A-Wish.
“Tonight is very special. It is all about helping kids and giving hope to children and their families when they need it most. A wish brings joy and happiness to children with critical illness, helping them forget about hospitals, doctors and treatments so they can just be a kid…bringing magic to children and families is part of our Disney DNA,” Ken Potrock shared.
For more than 40 years, Disney has celebrated a wonderful global partnership with Make-A-Wish, granting more than 145,000 wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions. In fact, Disneyland was part of the first wish granted by Make-A-Wish in 1980, when 7- year-old Leukemia patient Frank “Bopsy” Salazar visited the park. Since then, the company has continued the tradition of making dreams come true for these deserving families, whether it is a visit to our theme parks, a hotel stay or a special meet and greet with a beloved character or role model.
These wishes have also come full circle for cast member Lexi, who was a former Make-A-Wish recipient herself when she was a young girl, and now works at the resort as an entertainment host. She gets to orchestrate meaningful interactions with characters for wish families. Lexi shared, “Depending on the situation, I will tell the families I was a wish child. Working here and still being able to be involved with wishes is the best of both worlds. It means so much to me to give these families the hope and strength they need to get through whatever hardship they’re going through.”
Lexi is not the only cast member who has been touched by the magic of granting wishes. Danny Salas, gatherer at Savi’s Workshop in Disneyland park, loves giving back to the community and used his artistic abilities to create his own fundraiser for Make-A-Wish! When asked how he felt about Disney’s partnership with Make-A-Wish, Danny said, “It’s a win-win. Not only is Make-A-Wish one of my favorite organizations, but knowing that the company I work for also supports them, it’s a huge win! So, I take way more pride in being a cast member…”
Funds raised from this event will help make even more life-changing wishes come true.
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