On William’s Wish Day, Make-A-Wish volunteers and staff showed up to his house around 5:00 PM. Senior Director of Program Services, Joe Evenson, recalls that life-changing day…
“William’s family was ready to go and gave the an over the top greeting when they arrived. They were almost giddy, and I think we were too. After all, this was the first wish we had granted in about a month [due to the pandemic]. It was a tough road from then to today. We had to postpone 10 wishes & cancel numerous events, so it was a nice change to keep William’s wish on schedule. His family showed so much love and support for him. They talked about how much he has been through with his condition and how much of an impact this wish will have on him. They shared a lot of hugs and a lot of tears. It was beautiful to see!
When it came time for his wish reveal, we had his 4-wheeler set up in the front yard right by the street with the plow hooked up and ready to go. His family was positioned around the 4-wheeler with the sign “Your Wish Is Coming True!” They held it proudly and couldn’t wait for him to get home and see his wish! The volunteers and myself got into position and waited for William’s arrival.
It was 5:30 on the dot when William pulled up to the house with his best friend. When he got out of the truck we all yelled “Happy wish day, William!” His family cheered and clapped and got really excited when he got there. He was trying to be all business but you could tell he was pretty happy.
I got the chance to thank William and his family for allowing us to grant him a wish. I then thanked our awesome volunteers for all of their help in making Williams’ wish come true. Then I thanked Big Sioux Power Sports for helping us pick out the 4-wheeler, delivery and set up, and helping William learn how to operate it. Lastly, we talked about our awesome Adopt-A-Wish partner, Toshiba.
We took lots of photos of William and his ATV, and then it was parade time! According to the Mitchell Newspaper article, there were more than 100 local supporters that joined the parade. We got word out to the Mitchell Chamber of Commerce, the city office, the police and fire department,0 Sheriff's office, William’s school and many of his extended family and friends. It was lead by William’s Adopt-A-Wish partner Toshiba. Then came the fire trucks and the police cars and the city vehicles followed by the rest of the community supporters which included friends and family and local businesses, bikers and UTV/ATV riders, Make-A-Wish volunteers, and other random people of Mitchell. And, the Easter bunny even made an appearance. To end the parade was our pizza delivery guy from Marcos Pizza. They didn’t say they were going to be in the parade but they timed it out perfect when they got to his house right when the parade was over. It was a perfect ending and William was definitely ready to eat!
We got him some of his favorite pizza from Marcos along with a cake for dessert. Him and the family went right to work on the food! That gave myself and the volunteers a chance to quickly reflect on how things went for his wish. Even by then it was a surreal moment realizing that we actually granted his wish despite all of the craziness going on right now with COVID-19. It was a feel-good moment! We then took a picture together, keeping social distancing in mind along with our masks.
The article from The Daily Republic quoted him on his reaction to first realizing that his 4-wheeler wish was coming true. He said “I was speechless when I saw it.” He was too. Sometimes silence can tell us all we need to know. For him, it was his way of recognizing that a life-changing moment just happened.”