Helping dozens of children's wishes come true

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Recently, the 10th annual Play Fore Wishes Golf Tournament was hosted by Bayview Credit Union.

With the participation of 118 golfers and 24 volunteers, close to $21,000 was raised this year. The success of this event is due to the months of dedicated work spent on organizing and fundraising for the event.

Each year, this event is championed by St. George Branch Manager Wanda MacLean.  She talks about her dedication to this event, as well as her motivation behind helping the Children’s Wish Foundation.

Why did the Credit Union choose to support the Children’s Wish Foundation 10 years ago? 

When I came to work for the Credit Union in 2004, I brought this charity along with me. My son Jesse became ill in 1995 and was a very sick little boy when he received his wish.  Since that time, my husband and I have given our time to this charity because we saw firsthand the impact a wish had on a child, their family and the neighbourhood. The Children’s Wish was a ray of sunshine during a terrible storm so it had a big impact on my family and our little community!

The staff here in St. George have embraced this charity with me. In 2007, we were trying to find ways of raising money and Julie Boles came up with the golf tournament. However, none of us were golfers, but we did know how to organize things and the rest is history.

Do you know of any children that have benefitted directly by the Play Fore Wishes Golf Tournament? 

I actually delivered Roary to a child who lived just outside of St. Stephen in 2008. Roary is a stuffed lion who is given to a child when they are advised they will receive their wish. He embodies hope for a brighter future. His wish was to go to Lego Land in California. It was a great experience for the little boy who was about six years old, his parents and his siblings. They were very excited and you could see his eyes light up when I told him who I was and why I was visiting him.  

Another child that just received her wish is Gwen. She is 15 years old, battling Buttes Leukemia and her wish was a media centre. She actually did an original painting of a Whale’s Tail for our silent auction this year! There have been many more children that have benefitted over the years.  

Has the popularity of the tournament grown over the years?

When we started in 2007, we only had about 10 to 15 teams, but we raised $5,400. Over the years, the numbers grew. But this past year, we were full (30 teams) and did not have to put one poster up! About 85 per cent of our golfers return each year and about 95 per cent of the businesses continue to support us each year. This year, we had over 140 local businesses support us with cash donations or auction items. 

Bayview is proud to be a small part of something that means so much to so many children and families. Over the past 10 years, Wanda and her team have raised over $124,000 for the Children's Wish Foundation and that money has been used to grant hope-giving wishes to many children in New Brunswick.