Making Wishes a Reality

Thursday, February 20, 2014
Soggy conditions were not enough to stop Rector area volunteers during the Have-A-Heart Wish-A-Thon fundraiser.

The Rector community showed its caring side Friday, reaching a new high mark for the annual Have-A-Heart Wish-A-Thon fundraiser. Volunteers along the intersection of Highway 49 and Main Street collected $7,004.04, a staggering growth from last year's collection of $5,006. Volunteers carrying collection buckets took to the intersection on a rainy Valentine's Day to continue to support the Make-A-Wish Foundation in its annual northeast Arkansas fundraiser. "I'm very happy," organizer Letecia Dooley said of the local response. "That's $2,000 more than last year. It just shows how much people here care about others and are willing to help someone else. It's fantastic!"

Friday was an ugly day, with persistent showers making for damp conditions. Despite the setback, volunteers greeted each passerby with a smile, typically receiving the same, as well as a donation, is response.

"Our volunteers were just great," Dooley said. "They were out there in the rain, but you didn't hear anyone complaining. We had a tremendous group of around 20 adult volunteers and students from the ACE Leadership Committee. The students were just amazing. They did anything to help, from collecting to sorting money, to running errands. Everyone was outstanding!"

Organizers wish to send special thanks to Steve Champ, who provided umbrellas and tarps to help keep volunteers dry and also purchased lunch for the volunteers.

Northeast Arkansas combined to gather $323,725.

This was the 16th annual Have-A-Heart Wish-A-Thon. The event, held annually in conjunction with the Jonesboro Radio Group, is a major fundraiser for the Make-A-Wish Foundation's efforts in northeast Arkansas. Volunteers throughout the area raised over $324,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, $80,000 more than was raised during the 2013 effort.

"I want to thank everyone who volunteered, donated and just made all this possible," Dooley said. "It was a total effort from everyone."

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