Make-A-Wish: Edinboro Student Athletes Grant Young Boy's Wish

Category:  News
Wednesday, February 24th, 2016 at 11:27 PM
Make-A-Wish: Edinboro Student Athletes Grant Young Boy's Wish by Macala Leigey

No star was needed for this wish.

Last Saturday, Feb. 20, Edinboro University athletes presented 10-year-old Everson Reynolds, of North East, with a Make-A-Wish celebration during halftime of the Fighting Scots men’s basketball game at the McComb Fieldhouse.

This year was the third year Edinboro University raised and hosted a Make-A-Wish reveal. Reynolds, who suffers from a Polycystic kidney disease, was granted his long-time wish to visit the San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld, and Legoland in California.

“It’s overwhelming for me, and I think it’s awesome,” Reynolds said.

In addition to revealing the leave date of his trip, Edinboro University athletes presented Reynolds with several other gifts during the Make- A-Wish reveal ceremony, including a “Star Wars” and ferris wheel Lego set, an autographed picture of Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, a suitcase, a beach bag, and a basketball signed by the Edinboro men’s basketball team, which was personally delivered to Reynolds by his favorite player, Je’Land Head.

“A lot of people worked super hard just for me, which was really cool,” Reynolds said. R

eynolds shared that the part of his trip he is looking forward to the most is seeing the sea turtles at SeaWorld and the Lego firetrucks at Legoland.

While the zoo and Legoland were Reynold’s wish, he’s not the only one looking forward to the vacation.

Reynold’s parents, Jenifer, who is an Edinboro alum, and Ty Reynolds, expressed how grateful they were to the university and the Make-A-Wish Foundation for granting Everson’s wish.

“It meant the world to us as parents to see him be just a kid and have fun [during the reveal], and not worry about adult things that he shouldn’t need to be worrying about that he does on a daily basis,” Jenifer Reynolds said.

Ty Reynolds, who also suffers from Polycystic kidney disease, added to Jenifer’s statement by sharing what he is most looking forward to during the trip.

“Just to see him [Everson] and the other boys [Everson’s brothers] be able to be boys again.”

To fulfill a wish, it costs between $5,000 and $13,000, with universities being required to raise a minimum of $5,000 by the NCAA, according to receive a wish on their campus.

Last year, Edinboro University was the top university to raise money for the Make-AWish Foundation, raising over $13,000. The Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference also came out on top of the conference list, raising over $53,000 for Make-A-Wish.

“I think it [Edinboro being the top university] was awesome. It shows a testament of what type of student athletes we have, and what type of students we have at Edinboro University,” Edinboro University Athletics Director Bruce Baumgartner said.

“It’s great for the school. We do a lot to raise it [money], and it’s impressive for Edinboro being a Division II top school in the nation. It’s incredible to raise that much money,” Edinboro University football player Jake Sisson said.

With the addition of Reynolds, Edinboro University has now granted three wishes to three different children. The first wish granted a puppy to a young man from Warren, while the second wish sent a young girl from Meadville to Hawaii.

“I think it’s a great partnership between theNCAA and Make-A-Wish. It’s great to see our [Edinboro University] athletes learning how to give back,” Baumgartner said.

Student Athlete Advisory Committee member and Edinboro University softball player Marylouise Linder also expressed her feelings towards Edinboro University teaming up with Make-A-Wish.

“It feels awesome for me to be able to give these kids a fun night and give them their wish they’ve been waiting on.”

Je’Land Head, student athlete and Reynolds favorite Edinboro University basketball player, also commented on the Make-A-Wish event and being Reynolds’ favorite player.

“Personally it [the Make-AWish event] means a lot to me, just to see those kids out there cheering us on. Seeing the joy on his [Everson’s] face and him telling me that I was his favorite player was a good experience.”

Along with student athletes recognizing Edinboro University’s success in Make- A-Wish events, Erie Regional Director of Make-A-Wish Jan Stork commented on the university’s diligent efforts.

“What Edinboro University has done over the years has been remarkable. They can make a huge difference in children’s’ lives.”

Edinboro athletes, students, and community members have continually proven their devotion to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and to making children’s wishes come true.

“It meant a lot to us for Make-A-Wish and Edinboro to join together. We’re just really blessed. It’s just nice to know as a family, we can have these memories, and they’ll always be with us no matter what happens,” said Jenifer Reynolds.

Macala Leigey is the News Editor for The Spectator and she can be reached at eupnews.spectator@gmail.com.

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