May 09, 2017
Two-hundred fifty gold stars – each with the first name of a child granted their one true wish before losing their fight with a life-threatening illness – cover a white Wish Angel Trailer.
<p>Each year, the trailer, which has become a makeshift shrine for families of the Wish Angels, makes its way from upstate New York to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, site of Sunday’s annual Make-A-Wish Mother’s Day Truck Convoy &Family Fun Day.</p><p><img class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="7485c710b85e00037fe3ec29b24d2b1b" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" id="7cec9" type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xOTEyODIwMy9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyNTUxNTAzM30.OG9moqyhyFjCPgYNF86CSXzVkmvjXe14ilAG7faWmxE/img.jpg?width=980"/>“It is amazing to see the families who come out year after year and visit the trailer, sometimes in ways as meaningful as a child’s gravesite,” said Ben Lee, regional director of Make-A-Wish Philadelphia, Northern Delaware & Susquehanna Valley. “It is a meaningful experience for families who openly weep, leave flowers and pay their respects. It is a chance for them to say ‘I Love You’.”</p><p>The visits and additions of new Wish Angels to the trailer – five this year alone – make for somber convoy events that were threatened recently when Make-A-Wish was left without a driver to transport the trailer in time for this year’s convoy.</p><p>Finding a solution on such short notice was a long shot, but Lee was willing to take the chance because he knew what the trailer meant to so many families. So, he reached out to <a href="https://www.gopenske.com/">Penske</a>, named this year’s “Official Convoy Trucking Company,” for help.</p><p>“Families hold reunions around the star, take pictures and even sometimes parents have a conversation with that child that the star represents,” Lee said. “Especially for these families, this convoy is a meaningful tradition.”</p><p>Soon, the request made its way to Justin Howes, Penske district manager in Albany, New York, who immediately stepped in to see what he could do.</p><p>Howes reached out to a Penske district closest to where the trailer was parked. As luck would have it, a hiker was available to drive the trailer to Ephrata, Pennsylvania, in plenty of time for it to be part of Sunday’s event.</p><p>“We were trying to do the right thing for a great cause,” he said. “Anytime we are put in a position where we can help someone in need and overcome barriers, we should do it.”</p><p>As for Lee, he will be forever grateful to Penske.</p><p>“Your company really came through in the 11<sup>th</sup> hour in such a meaningful way,” Lee aid.</p><p>For more information on the Mother’s Day Truck Convoy & Family Fun Day, visit the <a href="https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.philasv.wish.org_convoy&d=DwMFAg&c=h3doYy8SM5A3ClRIfuW3kMsQeA1oLqCc_JYUUs-p_mE&r=EJ5SUrl5Gl6-9lui79j0pDMkgCpNgReCD3C-1pzpJOo&m=vALN2GxQiw27MW0FfoVleSVql7Fyk9j_LhT-pEP6D2Q&s=IOioaORy_eZcJ3a5_WLm-k7OjrU5syMPDm5EwwfCUo4&e=">Make-A-Wish</a> website.</p><p><em>By Bernie Mixon</em></p></div>
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