Emory students have collaborated with the Make-A-Wish Foundation during the past three years to raise $7,000 to “grant a wish” for a terminally-ill child from Griffin, Ga. Goizueta Business School senior Ian Steinberg will help unveil the boy’s wish—a game room in his home— on Dec. 3.
The organization contacted Steinberg last week, informing him that a beneficiary for the funds had been secured.
Spearheaded by Steinberg, the group’s founder, the organization raised funds through various initiatives including pie contests, dodgeball tournaments, car washes and funds donated by family members.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation is a nationwide network of 25,000 people dedicated to granting wishes to terminally-ill children, according to the organization’s website.
The Georgia and Alabama chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which is the chapter Emory has collaborated with, has granted more than 5,000 wishes total since its founding in 1995 and continues to grant approximately 375 wishes each year, according to the chapter’s website.
Steinberg explained that he became interested in forming the organization at Emory his freshman year because of what the Foundation had done for his own family.
His sister, Dana, had been diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a cancer that affects lymphoid tissue, at age 11.
He said that Make-A-Wish had contacted his family and helped brainstorm a wish for his sister.
According to Steinberg, after his sister was cured, the Make-A-Wish Foundation flew his family out to California, gave them spending money, provided passes to Universal Studios and arranged to have them filmed on the set of the show “The O.C.,” which was his sister’s favorite show.
“After going through 15 months of chemotherapy, endless amounts of hospital stays, transfusions, doctor appointments, scans and two surgeries, it was so great for my family and I to finally be able to have a relaxing vacation,” Dana said in an email to the Wheel
Steinberg said the organization at Emory struggled to secure funds initially through fundraising initiatives, and the turnaround of funds was not as quick as he had hoped.
Despite this, Steinberg said he is grateful for the fundraising events that he, along with College junior James Rubinowitz, hosted.
According to Rubinowitz, a popular event was the Wonderful Wednesday “Pie the Presidents” event that occurred last year.
At this event, the two of them gathered presidents of fraternities and sororities and had people donate $5 to have pies thrown at the presidents.
Steinberg said that he later contacted the Georgia and Alabama chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, following through with them in meetings and conferences.
Dana will also be present at the boy’s home on Dec. 3, as she will travel to Atlanta from Tulane University.
“I am so proud of my brother for continuing to raise so much money for the charity and for being able to grant a boy a wish,” Dana wrote.
Next semester, the organization plans to continue fundraising initiatives like the pie throwing event and a dodgeball tournament to work towards a second wish, according to Rubinowitz.
“Our main goal right now is to spread awareness on campus and to receive as much help as possible from the student community,” said Rubinowitz.
Rubinowitz mentioned that being a part of the Emory Make-A-Wish Foundation has been one of his most rewarding experiences during his college career, especially after having seen the role the organization has played in Steinberg’s life and what it will do for the new wish recipient.
— Contact Nenad Tadic.