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Maddy digs for dinosaur bones!

  • Maddy digging for dinosaur bones in South Dakota

  • Maddy and her family are surprised by a limo to bring them to the airport

  • Maddy and her sister Sophia at Mt. Rushmore

  • Maddy plasters fossils in preparation to remove from the site.

  • Maddy finds a valuable t-rex tooth!

“ All in all, it was an amazing adventure! ”

- Maddy's Family

Maddy's a "bona fide" archaeologist after her Make-A-Wish trip to South Dakota!

Maddy’s favorite movie is Jurassic Park so digging for dinosaur fossils was a natural choice for her wish.

On her flight to South Dakota, she was bumped up to first class thanks to Delta Airlines and was able to meet the pilot and sit into the cockpit for a photo before takeoff.

During her trip, she and her family visited lots of museums, rode a train, went swimming in hot springs, and even saw Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse!

The big dig day consisted of a long drive to a dig site where she spent hours and hours sifting through dirt, sand and bone fragments.  She found many fossils – some she could bring home with her and one (a T-Rex tooth) had to stay behind to get cataloged and preserved due to its value and rarity.

She enjoyed water and wildlife parks as well as a trip to Black Hills Institute of Geological Research where she saw the second largest full T-Rex on display.

Make-A-Wish would like to thank: Adopt-A-Wish Sponsors Martin's Point, Volunteer Wish Granters Brian Keezer and Angela Arnold, Make-A-Wish South Dakota, Portland Limousine, Lamey Wellehan, Sparetime Augusta, Reny’s of Gardiner, Delta Airlines, AVIS Rent-A-Car, Paleo Adventures, LaQuinta Inn & Suites, Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Crazy Horse Memorial, Evan’s Plunge, Alpine Slide and Rushmore Tramway, Professor Samuel’s, 1880 Train, Reptile Garden’s Bear Country USA, Dakota’s Best, Mammoth Site, Dinosaur Park, Mostly Chocolates, and Freshberry.

Big thank you to Make-A-Wish for being so nice and putting together this customized Maddy trip! ”

— Maddy's Mom

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Make-A-Wish® South Dakota
1400 West 17th Street
Sioux Falls, SD 57104
(605) 335-8000
Toll Free (800) 640-9198
Make-A-Wish® South Dakota, Black Hills Office
14 Saint Joseph St. Suite 302
Rapid City, SD 57701
(605) 791-4500
Toll Free (800) 640-9198