Make-A-Wish brightens one 6-year-old's world
Monday, February 23rd 2015, 3:26 PM ChST
Guam - While most kids wish to visit Disneyland or to meet their favorite celebrity, one 6-year-old's wish was for a playground. And he got just that.
In a ceremony held earlier this month, Joerome Aguon, received more than just your typical yard swingset. He received his own playground in his front yard in Astumbo, Dededo, compliments of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
In September, the family learned Joerome was eligible to have his wish granted. Since Joerome was very young, he struggled with liver issues and would need a liver transplant later in life. With seven total children in the family and another on the way, executive director Victor Camacho knew Joerome's wish was more than worthwhile - and something Joerome would share with his brothers and sisters.
"Make-A-Wish is a community effort. It's not just the staff or the board that does the work. It's the donors. It's everybody who says I want to help make a wish, how can I help? The money that we raise locally goes to local families. Joerome and his family are going to be on this thing for years to come and its all because of the support of Macy's and all our friends," he explained.
And if teamwork makes the dreamwork, then many hands are to thank for Joerome's new playground.
Board member Mike Nahalowaa said, "We want to thank everybody for being here. On behalf of Make-A-Wish, we're very humbled by the support of Black Construction, Benson."
And joining the dreamteam was Macy's Guam. Camacho said, "This playground was made possible from the sponsorship of macy's. They are our number one donor throughout the year. We can't do any of these types of things without Macy's. I think it's unofficial but per capita we probably raise more money with the size of our population per person through the Macy's Guam then any other chapter nationwide. It's not official but I'm pretty sure its true."
And more hands helped to assemble the playground, including Hawaiian Rock, Fence Masters, and more. "We needed something that was big enough. Strong enough. Something that could be around for a long time. These kids are going to be on it everyday after school. So we looked around at the different distributors. We found our friend Benson, who brings these in. And we worked with Matson to get it here. Once we got it here, who's going to build it? I approached black construction and I don't think I even sat down before he said we're doing it," he said.
Now, it's Operation Slide for Joerome as he and his brothers and sisters can enjoy the playground for years to come.