ST. GEORGE — Make-A-Wish Utah and Zions Bank partnered on Tuesday to surprise a St. George boy with a new pop-up camper.
Diagnosed with leukemia and having endured several treatments, Quest, 4, has been waiting for his wish to be granted for quite some time, Make-A-Wish Utah president and CEO Jared Perry told St. George News. Quest loves the outdoors and exploring, and he wished for the ultimate camping experience.
On Tuesday, Quest and his family arrived at Zions Bank at 1:30 p.m. in a St. George Fire Department engine escorted by the Make-A-Wish Utah wish car. Representatives from Zions Bank and Make-A-Wish Utah and students from Cedar High School waited to surprise him with signs and balloons.
“Thank you so much for my wish,” Quest told the crowd. “I’m going to go camping at the beach – at the Oregon beach – and pick blackberries and strawberries.”
He added that he’s excited to go to the ocean to look for colorful fish and flowers and eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in the camper. The family has had to stay home a lot lately, Quest’s mother said, and the camper will allow them to go on an adventure.
In addition to the camper, Zions Bank and Cedar High collected and donated T-shirts, candy, camping gear and other items through fundraising efforts. The fundraiser was part of Make-A-Wish Utah’s Drive For Wishes campaign, a statewide effort to focus on granting wishes throughout the month of April.
“Make-A-Wish Utah does so much good in our communities, bringing smiles to children and their families during difficult times,” Kenneth Miller, Zions Bank Southern Utah region president, said in a statement. “Zions Bank is proud to support Make-A-Wish, and our employees are excited to be a part of this special day for Quest.”
Make-A-Wish Utah also partners with high schools in St. George to grant wishes and pair wish kids with high schoolers so they can interact.
There are currently 12 kids in St. George who are waiting for their wishes to be granted, Perry said. The purpose of the campaign is to tell stories like Quest’s, engage the community and raise money for wishes. For every wish they grant, Perry said, there are still one to two other kids who need one.
“Quest has been through a very difficult journey leading up to this day,” he said. “We get to see Quest at his very best, the day that he gets his wish, which is a camping trailer …. It’s not possible without amazing community members, like Zions, and like Cedar High School, people who care.”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Make-A-Wish has had to change the way they grant wishes, Perry added. A lot of kids wish for vacations, but because of the travel restrictions, many of those wishes have not been easily granted. The camper allows Quest and his family to safely travel anytime they like without worrying about the complications of airline travel.
Star Sign & Banner, Hurst General, Ace Hardware, the Pasta Factory and Pizza Factory, Cafe Sabor, Blue Bird Chocolates and Dixie State University also donated items to grant Quest’s wish.
Make-A-Wish Utah is accepting donations so they can continue granting local kids’ wishes. Anyone who would like to donate can visit their donation page.
Ed. Note: Make-A-Wish Utah does not release last names of families who are granted wishes.
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