LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WWLP) – It was a night of granting wishes and watching the NCAA championship basketball tournament in Longmeadow, Saturday night.
Hundreds of people packed the Longmeadow Country Club for the 6th annual “Swish Night,” hosted by the Make-A-Wish organization.
Not only were the guests watching what was happening on the court, they were also helping make wishes come true for children who are terminally ill.
13-year-old Samantha Stackpole from Westfield suffers from a disease that affects her skin and muscles. She told 22News that she travels a lot for treatment, saying, “It’s a lot of hard medication, and having to get blood work done. It’s just missing a lot of school, so I’m usually behind, but I just try to make up for it.”
Her wish is to go to Hawaii. She told 22News, “It’s really beautiful and I’ve always wanted to go on a waterfall hike or hike up a mountain.”
Dr. Phillip Glynn, Head of Oncology at Mercy Medical Center told 22News that the Make-A-Wish organization gives kids hope. He said, “They’ve actually done studies and they’ve looked at how reaffirming this is just for patients and their families to help them get through the whole process of the treatment, and just staying on course and trying to survive as all long and as well as they can. This is part of that. This is part of that therapy really.”
Organizers hope to raise money to grant the wishes of 16 western Massachusetts kids with life threatening medical conditions.
The average wish costs about $8,000. The Regional Director for Make-A-Wish told 22News that they expect to raise $145,000.