Community, Latest News, News

Make-A-Wish hosts Waffles & Wishes fundraiser, surprises boy with trip to Universal

Ron Rittenhouse/The Dominion Post photos
At the Waffles & Wishes breakfast for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Jayden Poyser, second from left, gets his wish to go to Universal Studios in Orlando, Fla. From left, Katherine Poyser, Jayden, Craig Poyser and Jaecea Poyser receive the news from Jayden’s favorite creature. Making the announcement is Jackie Auten, regional manager for Make-A-Wish.

“Who doesn’t love waffles?” poses Jackie Auten, when asked why Make-A-Wish Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia started Thursday morning with a breakfast-themed gathering at Atria’s.

The nonprofit’s regional manager said Waffles & Wishes is intended as “something a little different and fun” to encourage the public to donate to the organization, which creates wishes for children ages 2 1/2 to 18 with critical illnesses.

Nick Wince gets some waffles at the Waffles & Wishes breakfast. Nick recently got his wish to hang out with the WVU basketball team.

Attendees Thursday were able to watch Make-A-Wish fulfill its mission firsthand, as New Martinsville resident Jayden, 8, and his family were surprised with a trip to Universal Studios. There, he will be able to learn about his favorite creature, dinosaurs, and ride the park’s Jurassic Park-themed ride.

“He was speechless,” Auten said. “He was adorable.”

She said, on average, the cost of making a child’s dream come true is $4,400.

“That’s why it’s so important for people to attend events like this and donate,” Auten said. “We can’t continue to grant wishes without funding to keep doing what we do best.”

With a turnout of roughly 50 people, she said Make-A-Wish plans to make Waffles & Wishes an annual event.

“We had a huge turnout for our first time, which is encouraging.”