The first Wish Upon a U Week officially kicked off Monday. Organizers hope to raise awareness and financial support for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, an international charity.
“They go ahead and find a wish granter and try to coordinate that the wish comes true for the children,” said senior Jonathan Schrader, president and founder of UWish.
Wish Upon a U Week, which began Monday, features competition among 18 teams of students. The highlight will be the second annual Swing for the Wishes Celebrity Softball Tournament on Saturday morning.
“The way it works is the top 16 point-turning teams get to play in the softball tournament,” Schrader said. “Out of the 16 teams it goes in order by ranking and you get to pick which celebrity you want on your team.”
Celebrities include Pro Bowl football players Terrell Owens and Bryant McKinnie, a former Cane, and former Miami Heat star Tim Hardaway. UM President Donna Shalala will throw out the first pitch.
All teams earn points by fundraising and participating in a variety of contests, such as the banner-making, photo and build your own sunglasses.
“Every person, every dollar, every minute of time volunteered can make a huge difference for these kids and their families,” said junior Reeyaz Hamirani, vice president of UWish. “Life-threatening illnesses take such a toll on these kids, and helping grant their wishes is the least we can do to make their lives happier.”
The main goal of Wish Upon a U Week is to raise $10,000 to grant a wish to a child in need, said UWish advisor Franklin McCune, who is also the assistant director of the Butler Center for Volunteer Service.
IF YOU GO:
What: Second Annual Swing for the Wishes
Time: 11 a.m.
Where: Ponce de Leon Middle School, 5801 Augusto St., across U.S.1 from campus
Join UWish: Meetings Mondays 8 p.m. in Memorial 315