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The Heroes Challenge Fundraiser is coming to Calgary

By Eula Mengullo, April 12 2023

Make-A-Wish Canada is bringing the Heroes Challenge fundraiser to Calgary this June. 

On June 23, seven teams of 10 people will take part in a variety of fun and unique challenges at the Century Downs Racetrack and Casino in Rocky View to raise funds for children with critical illnesses. The challenge time begins at 12 p.m. followed by a wrap-up party at 4 p.m.

Participants dressed in superhero gear — called Superhero Squads — will be paired with an honorary wish kid captain to help inspire them to raise funds and win their challenges. 

In an interview with the Gauntlet, Cathi Arola — communications specialist for Make-A-Wish Western Canada — discussed what the event will entail and how individuals can take part. 

“It’s gonna be a fun opportunity for people to get dressed up in superhero gears and we’re gonna be pairing each of our teams with a local wish kid — who is either waiting for their wish to be granted or has had their wish granted,” said Arola. “That’s an opportunity for participants to really understand who our wish kids are and what their challenges have been and be inspired by their medical journey.” 

Make-A-Wish is an organization dedicated to granting life-changing wishes for children fighting critical illnesses to help them in their treatment journey by building physical and emotional strength.

The Heroes Challenge is an opportunity open to anyone of all ages and abilities.

“Anybody can be there, we can have children, we can have anybody of all abilities,” said Arola. “It’s open for anybody and it’s fun. It’s something different.”

Currently in the Southern Alberta chapter, 219 wishes are waiting to be granted in the area. Arola highlighted how the travel restrictions due to the pandemic have posed challenges for them to realize these wishes. 

“COVID-19 was a challenge for a lot of charities across the country and around the world,” said Arola. “So a lot of kids have actually been waiting for several years to have their wishes granted.

“A lot of kids have experienced isolation, it’s been a very difficult time for them and their families and a wish is just a little bit of a spark, to bring them a little bit of joy, something to look forward to, something to give them hope,” she continued. 

To participate, each team must raise an amount of $10,000. While this may seem like a daunting amount, Arola highlighted that their fundraising offices can provide guidance and various unique fundraising ideas to raise money.

The Heroes Challenge is an opportunity to be more involved with the community and Arola encourages students to participate. 

“It’s a great opportunity for students to become connected again to the community,” said Arola. “This is an opportunity to find a community, to find other people who also want to make a difference.

“It’s an opportunity for people to really give back and have a good time doing it,” she continued.

This year, the Heroes Challenge hopes to raise $70,000 to grant wishes for children with critical illnesses. The deadline to register is on June 9. 

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