By Pam Cain
AVP, Peoria Branch Manager
NMLS # 662881
Wanda Loussedes and Pam Cain
Make-A-Wish Illinois, Peoria Chapter, recently held a scavenger hunt that took teams to area businesses in search of clues that led to the next location. At the stops, people got to meet kids who had been given their Make-A-Wish and have their clues validated for entry into any of eight prize drawings. INB-Peoria sponsored the event and served as a scavenger hunt stop.
Teller Wanda Loussedes and I participated in the hunt called “I Spy A Wish Team Adventure.” Each stop was so much fun, we didn’t even make it to all the locations! We also helped our local chapter raise enough money to grant three wishes! That’s amazing when you learn that each wish granted can cost about $10,000, with part of the cost usually coming from in-kind donations.
Stacy Borho, one of our Peoria mortgage lenders (NMLS # 689948) and member of the local Make-a-Wish council, created “I Spy A Wish Team Adventure” five years ago. As founder, she was all over town this year promoting the sites and even making commercials to encourage people to take part. She works very hard to make wishes come true, and I’m glad Wanda and I got a chance to experience the event with her.
“I Spy A Wish Team Adventure,” which has grown each year since inception in 2011, landed on a beautiful Central Illinois summer day. The remarkable adventure included meeting kids who deserve to see a special wish come true.
One of those children was a 4-year-old boy with epilepsy. His “wish come true” was a sensory room which includes things like a vibrating bed and music. Stacy knows the boy well; she was his wish grantor, and she saw his wish come true last December.
Stacy explains that a wish grantor serves as a communicator between the wish child and Make-A-Wish Illinois. While she doesn’t actually make the wish happens, she gets to talk to the kids and their families and assure that the kid’s wish is the wish that’s taken to the foundation.
In the past, her wish kids have gone to the Pro Bowl in Hawaii and, as you might expect, Disneyworld. But trips aren’t the only wishes. A child with leukemia and Downs Syndrome got an indoor, customized playground that allowed him to have fun without the risk of infection from a public space. Another kid got a Mondo-Pad which Stacy describe as a huge smart TV to connect from a tablet. Sometimes these tablets are the only way kids have to communicate, so this wish come true can have a significant impact on their lives.