Make-A-Wish Connecticut Hosts Drive-By Parades for Wish Kids

Daniela Doncel
May 04, 2020 - 5:14 pm
Parade Participants with Make-A-Wish Connecticut

Photo Courtesy of Carin Buckman, Make-A-Wish CT

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HARTFORD, Conn. (WTIC Radio) - More than 80 Make-A-Wish Connecticut children have had their wishes postponed with the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Make-A-Wish Connecticut officials, but the foundation is holding drive-by parades to cheer those children up.

About half a dozen parades have been put together for these children, said Carin Buckman, the Marketing, Communications and Digital Manager for Make-A-Wish Connecticut. These parades are planned every two weeks or so in collaboration with the local community, Buckman said, and will continue to happen until the children's wishes can be fulfilled safely.

Monday, Make-A-Wish Connecticut held a parade for a seven-year-old boy in Hartford named Alex who is battling leukemia. For Alex, it was a trip to Walt Disney World in August that got postponed due to COVID-19, Buckman said, but the foundation decided to bring Disney to him.

The drive-by parade for Alex held Monday at around 1 p.m. had a Disney/Marvel theme to it, Buckman said, with several cars, signs, and even a Marvel cake donated by a Hartford bakery. 

The foundation worked with the city fire department, police department and first responders who volunteered to help out, Buckman said. Parade organizers also partnered up with HYPE Hartford and the Hartford Chamber of Commerce, she said.

Hartford's Fire Department had several gifts for Alex. Buckman said the family lives on the second floor of a duplex home in the city, so firefighters put all the gifts in the fire truck bucket and delivered them through the window. 

"We would not be able to do this for our wish kids if it weren't for the whole community like the police department, the fire department, the first responders, the family, the friends and the neighbors of these wish kids and their families, because it takes a community to spread this happiness and this joy," Buckman said.

Buckman said the families and children are incredibly appreciative for these efforts. As for Alex, "he said it was the biggest surprise ever and the best day ever," Buckman said.

For more information on how to support Make-A-Wish Connecticut, visit ct.wish.org.