Sporting KC mascot helps school announce efforts to make student's wish come true

KANSAS CITY – Jan 31, 2012: Raymore Elementary was buzzing on Friday Jan. 25th when they announced their partnership with Make-A-Wish® Missouri through the Kids For Wish Kids® program, sponsored by Sporting Kansas City. Wish Kid Connor, 4th grader at Raymore, is the “face” of the program that engages students to make wishes come true for their peers. Connor shared his story of battling Leukemia since 2007and the hope of his wish to go to Disney World. Sporting KC’s mascot Blue joined Connor on stage to the delight and surprise of the entire crowd, throwing out wristlets and gearing them up for their fundraising ahead.

Kids For Wish Kids (KFWK) is a program run by kids for kids. Connor’s fellow 4th graders have stepped up as ambassadors and will lead the school in their fundraising to make his wish come true. Raymore Elementary has the unique opportunity to see first hand how they can make a difference for a child battling a life-threatening illness.

“Our 4th grade student ambassadors have selected Make-A-Wish as our service learning focus for second semester,” said Principal Michelle Hofmann. “They wanted to support Connor, as he is a fellow 4th grade classmate. They will lead the school in various ways to raise money for the Kids for Wish Kids program. We are also inviting our community to join in our effort to fund Connor’s wish.”

Thanks to sponsorship from Sporting Kansas City of Major League Soccer, Connor’s school will compete with other schools in the KFWK program for tickets, fan packs, player appearances and the opportunity to be recognized at a Sporting KC Make-A-Wish® game night, scheduled May 5th.

“Sporting Club and Sporting Kansas City prides itself on helping the community and we are honored to partner with a great organization like Make-A-Wish®,” said Sporting KC Executive Vice President of Communications Rob Thomson. “The KFWK program is a wonderful way to help bring joy to families in a difficult time and we are very excited to take part and provide an outlet to accomplish this goal.” Schools interested in enrolling in the KC Kids For Wish Kids® should contact program manger Tiffani Kintchen, 913-341-9474, tkintchen@mo.wish.org. Individuals interested in making a donation to support Connor’s wish may visit Make-A-Wish® Missouri’s website: www.mo.wish.org.

ABOUT SPORTING KANSAS CITY:

The team's parent organization, Sporting Club, consists of the following five entrepreneurs in the Kansas City business community: Neal Patterson, Cliff Illig, Robb Heineman, Greg Maday and Pat Curran. Sporting Kansas City enters its 18th season as a charter member of Major League Soccer and plays at state-of-the-art Sporting Park, which opened in June 2011 as one of the best stadiums of its size in the world.

ABOUT RAYMORE ELEMENTARY:

Raymore Elementary School is one of six elementary schools in the Raymore-Peculiar School District. It has an enrollment of about 445 students in grades K-4. Raymore Elementary also houses several programs for early childhood learners, including the Early Childhood program, Parents as Teachers program, and Panther Cub Academy, which provides child care and educational experiences for children ages 3-5. It is located at 500 S. Madison St. in Raymore.

ABOUT MAKE-A-WISH®:

Make-A-Wish® grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. According to a 2011 U.S. study of wish impact, most health professionals surveyed believe a wish-come-true can have positive impacts on the health of children. Kids say wishes give them renewed strength to fight their illnesses, and their parents say these experiences help strengthen the entire family. Make-A-Wish is one of the world’s leading children’s charities, serving children in every community in the United States and its territories.

With the help of generous donors and more than 25,000 volunteers, Make-A-Wish grants a wish somewhere in the country every 38 minutes. It has granted well over 226,000 wishes since its inception in 1980; nearly 14,000 in 2012 alone. Visit Make-A-Wish Missouri at www.mo.wish.org to learn more.

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Media Contacts:
Make-A-Wish® Missouri Tiffani Kintchen | 913-341-9474 | tkintchen@mo.wish.org

Raymore Elementary / Raymore Peculiar School District Michelle Stidham | 816-892-1314 | mstidham@raypec.k12.mo.us

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