Kretschmar Premium Deli Meats, Make-A-Wish Illinois and Kirby Foods worked together to help make a 12-year-old boy's wish come true. Elias lives in Peoria with his parents and siblings. Elias is described as a pretty easy-going kid with a good sense of humor. Like many boys his age, Elias enjoys playing video games and some of his favorite foods include ham and turkey. Unlike most boys his age, Elias was born with life-threatening medical conditions that include a congenital heart defect and a chromosomal defect called DiGeorge Syndrome that impacts the development of several body systems. When referred to Make-A-Wish, Elias asked for a video gaming system. The three organizations granted Elias' wish with a new Nintendo Wii, television, sound system and a load of video games at his home Saturday. Kretschmar is helping grant three wishes, including Elias', this year as part of its "Legendary Wishes" campaign.
Kretschmar donated over $100,000 to Make-A-Wish in 2012 and is helping grant three wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses this year. In Illinois, Kretschmar partnered with Kirby Foods to aid in supporting Elias' wish. Kirby Foods raised additional funds for Make-A-Wish with sales of paper stars that were sold at its stores' registers for $1, with proceeds going to Make-A-Wish. The retailer also named a sandwich the Elias Hero Sub on its deli menu in honor of Elias with proceeds also benefitting Make-A-Wish. Kirby Foods presented several video game-related wish enhancements to Elias as part of its support.
"It has been amazing to see the impact of our Legendary Wishes campaign," says Chuck Gitkin, vice president of marketing, innovation and R&D, John Morrell Food Group. "It's extremely fulfilling to know that we're able to make a difference in the lives of some really great kids and their families. That's the most important thing. We're very honored to work with Make-A-Wish and Kirby's to help fulfill these wishes and appreciate all of their support."
Elias' house was filled with many friends and family members on hand to see his big surprise. Kirby Foods provided sandwiches and refreshments for everyone. The retailer also gave Elias an oversized card full of well wishes that were collected over the month of April from the employees and customers at its stores.
"Kretschmar's generous and enthusiastic support truly allows Make-A-Wish to fulfill its mission of bringing hope, strength and joy to children at a time they need it most," says Stephanie Springs, CEO of Make-A-Wish Illinois.