Kelly (and her team Rainbow Bright) took part in this year’s 5K Foam Fest event in Nanaimo, BC. They exceeded their fundraising goal this year and Kelly says that she will be raising money for Make-A-Wish® at next year’s event as well. “I’m excited that I was able to fundraise the amount that I did and am encouraging my teammates to step up to the plate next year so that we can double the amount I raised this year. Make-A-Wish is such a great organization and helps create so many dreams and smiles for those in need. I’m honoured to be a part of the team. See you next year!”
Q: Tell me how you got involved with the 5K Foam Fest?
A: In 2018, my stepdaughter, Danica Prowse (team captain), thought it would be a good way for a group of us (all family) to spend some time together and have fun. We didn't enter as a team last year, but we participated as a family: Danica, her daughter Natalie, her mom Karen, her sister-in-law Jodi, and myself, stepmom, grandmother and friend. She searched out the 5K Foam Fest which was doable for all of us.
Q: How did you learn that the 5K Foam Fest supports Make-A-Wish Canada?
A: When we arrived at the 2018 5K Foam Fest in Nanaimo and saw all of the advertising for Make-A-Wish Canada, I thought it would be a great idea to form a team in 2019 and do some fundraising for this worthy cause. Once I had it in my head that we were going to fundraise, the wheels started turning and I was looking forward to being a part of something so much bigger than all of us.
Q: What inspires you about Make-A-Wish and the work we do?
A: I came from a family of 10 and we have lost two siblings to cancer. Although they were adults, both of them had wishes they wanted to fulfil before passing. As a family, we made their wishes come true, kind of like Make-A-Wish Family instead of Make-A-Wish Canada. Our granddaughter, Natalie (team member), was born in 2003 with a rare childhood cancer called neuroblastoma.Make-A-Wish was able to send her to a theme park in Florida as that was one wish she had. She is now 16 and cancer free. Not many children are as lucky as she and I am sure they all have wishes to fulfil. Very few families who deal with a child or any family member with cancer have spare funds to help make their child’s/family member’s dream a reality. Make-A-Wish does some pretty incredible work to make wishes come true for these children and it could not happen without funds behind them.
Q: What inspired you to create a fundraising page and how did you feel when you committed to raising funds in support of Make-A-Wish (excited, nervous, happy, proud, etc.)?
A: My inspiration comes from the memories of my siblings, the knowing that our granddaughter is cancer free and the want and will to create a small bit of happiness in a world that is so difficult for families dealing with cancer. These families often wonder when they might smile again or what they can do to make that smile happen. I feel happy, proud and excited to be contributing to such a worthy cause.
Q: As a returning participant and fundraiser, what tips and tricks would you provide to individuals who are participating in the 5K Foam Fest and fundraising for Make-A-Wish for the first time?
A: As a returning participant, I am excited to try my skills at the course again; the first year I overcame two obstacles that I would never have tried before - so challenge yourself! I don't think there are any tricks to fundraising, just be honest and do it from the heart - don't do it because you feel you have to - do it because you truly want to and you believe! My birthday was in March, so prior to my birthday I put a notice out on Facebook and emailed all my family members, asking them to help me fundraise as a birthday gift and they did. You have to be willing to put yourself out there, it's not always easy to ask for support when everyone gets tapped out from so many worthy causes.Make-A-Wish is a great cause and I believe in the work they do!
Q: If you could share a message to all the Foam Fest participants (more than 65,000 in Canada!) to inspire them to create a fundraising page, and raise funds in support of Make-A-Wish and the life-changing work we do, what would that message be?
A: I would have to say, look at the work that Make-A-Wish does, read some of the stories that the families share, be inspired, believe and be bigger than yourself and your world. It is said that it takes a community to raise a child, I believe it takes an army of fundraisers to make wishes come true!