At Carowinds, we want each of our guests to have the best day ever on the state line. We’re proud to partner with Make-A-Wish, an organization with a similar goal, striving to deliver the best day ever to children battling life-threatening illnesses. Recently, we had the honor of hosting the annual World Wish Day picnic for the Central and Western North Carolina chapter of Make-A-Wish.
Picnic in the Park
On April 28, families participating in the Wish it Forward program visited Carowinds for a day of fun where the Carolinas come together. After spending the morning playing in the park, everyone gathered for a picnic lunch in the Carowinds Grove. Here, wish kids and their families enjoyed a freshly prepared lunch, mingling with fellow wish kids and a taking pictures with Snoopy and Charlie Brown.
Olivia Harris, Wish Specialist and Laura Blaha, Community Engagement Specialist
Granting Lizzie's Wish
Each family in attendance had a touching story, but Lizzie Becker is an especially strong fighter and an inspiration. Known to doctors and her family as a “cardiac kid,” Lizzie was born with five heart defects. At the young age of 9 she’s already undergone two open heart surgeries, with other procedures on the horizon.
Lizzie (left) and her sister Emily (right) pose for a photo with Charlie Brown and Snoopy.
This spring, Make-A-Wish touched Lizzie’s life and granted her wish to go to Disney World and Universal Studios in Florida. Lizzie, along with her sister Emily and parents Susie and Jim, was treated like royalty during her stay in the Sunshine State.
“It’s so humbling to have others do what you’re used to doing for yourself,” said Susie, Lizzie’s mom. “I did not have to worry about any details of the trip, people went above and beyond to make sure we were always cared for. No one does it like Make-A-Wish.”
Lizzie’s parents reflected on how their daughter says her experiences aren’t fair, and that she shouldn’t have to go through such serious things that other kids don’t have to worry about. They said that Make-A-Wish and all the volunteers involved have helped Lizzie realize that people know it’s not fair, and try to remedy that.
“There are so many people involved in granting a child’s wish that freely give their time and resources without being recognized,” Jim said.
Because of their experience, the family has a desire to stay connected to Make-A-Wish and do everything they can to give back. Jim recently hiked in the Trailblazer Challenge fundraiser and the family attended a Wish Ball. They’re very dedicated to the cause and want to continually volunteer with this organization.
Wish kids smile for a photo in front of the new Camp Snoopy fountain. All the coins collected in the fountain are donated to Make-A-Wish.
We’re truly thrilled to be a part of this family’s Make-A-Wish experience on World Wish Day, and hope we were able to continue the magic of a wish for all these brave Wish Kids.