Simply sending 3-year-old Logan Reele to Walt Disney World wasn’t enough for members of Niagara University’s Student Government Association, clubs and club sports teams. On March 18, 2011, the group hosted a send-off party to celebrate the leukemia-stricken boy’s trip to Orlando, one that they sponsored through a new student government association initiative that raised funds for local charities, including the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
The private event included a plethora of children’s games, a buffet dinner with kid-friendly foods like chicken fingers, fish sticks (because of lent), french fries, macaroni and cheese – and broccoli. Dessert consisted of a Cars-themed cake, in honor of Logan’s favorite movie, cupcakes and ice cream with all the toppings.
“This is really an incredible thing that these students did for our family,” said Logan’s mother, Carol, who attended the party with her husband, Mark, Logan, his brother, Cayden, and numerous family members. “Logan is so excited to go to Disney World and he really doesn’t even know exactly what awaits him when he gets there.”
The Reeles depart for the “most magical place on Earth” on Sunday, March 27. While there, Logan and his family will stay at the Give Kids The World resort, be escorted to the front of the line for every ride and attraction, have the opportunity to “meet” Lightning McQueen, Logan’s favorite Cars character, and experience many other special moments that only Disney World can offer.
NUSGA’s Make-A-Wish sponsorship originated from a campaign that Niagara University’s Student Government Association instituted this past fall.
“Strive 2 Serve” is an effort to increase the number of community service hours completed by members of clubs and club sports. While community service is already a requirement for these organizations to receive NUSGA funding, NUSGA President Christopher W. Zukas wanted to encourage students to go beyond “the bare minimum” and commit to completing 11,000 hours per academic year, “a challenging, but realistic goal,” according to Zukas.
To incentivize the program, milestone targets were established. As each milestone was reached, NUSGA made a $1,000 donation to a local charity. Once 11,000 service hours were completed, NUSGA was to make a $5,000 donation to an area non-profit, which turned out to be the Make-A-Wish Foundation. A formal presentation of the donation was made during the event.
Niagara University’s Student Government Association seeks to serve the undergraduate student body and its surrounding community to the highest capacity possible, while keeping within the framework of the Catholic and Vincentian traditions and values of the university.
Since 1980, the Make-A-Wish Foundation has enriched the lives of children with life-threatening medical conditions through its wish-granting work. The Foundation’s mission reflects the life-changing impact that a Make-A-Wish experience has on children, families, referral sources, donors, sponsors and entire communities. For more information, please visit wny.wish.org.