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Walkers raise money for children with life threatening illnesses

 

Katie Perttunen/Daily Globe

CHRISTINA YOUNGBERG and Charity Rice take registrations for Sunday's “Walk for Kids,” at Wakefield's Sunday Lake Pavilion, raising funds for the Rainbow Connection.

WAKEFIELD — Rainbow Connection's second Walk for Kids was held Sunday at Sunday Lake in Wakefield.

Event chair person Dianne Youngberg said that last year only Walmart associates participated, and together they were able to raise $5,839 to help Michigan children with life threatening illnesses see their wishes come true. This year the public was invited to participate, Youngberg said.

The city of Wakefield donated use of the pavilion for the event, and several crafters were on hand, selling everything from garlic jelly, to cutting boards, to jewelry, to knit goods. Aspirus Grand View Hospital had a “make your own first aid kit” station, and HOPE animal shelter brought animals on Sunday to see the walkers.

Concessions were available, and games and a scavenger hunt for children were provided, as well as raffle prizes for participants.

Youngberg said that the Upper Peninsula's branch of the Rainbow Connection has their main walk over the Mackinac Bridge, but due to the distance and lodging, local organizers decided to have a local event, instead.

Saturday, volunteers had a rummage sale at the Bessemer VFW, and a bake sale was held last week to raise funds, Youngberg said. “We've been happy with the turnout,” Youngberg said.

Over 87% of the Rainbow Connection's expenses directly support children's wish fullfilment, earning the organization a four star rating from Charity Navigator, according to a press release.

The Rainbow Connection was founded in 1985 by L. Brooks Patterson to help celebrate the lives of his best friend and his two children who were killed in a plane crash in 1980, according to their website. The organization has made wishes come true for over 2,500 Michigan children.

For more information visit rainbowconnection.org or call (248) 601-9474.