by Matthew Miller, Colgate Wishmakers on Campus Club President
My name is Matthew Miller and I am currently a senior at Colgate University. I co-founded the Make-A-Wish Colgate club my sophomore year with a few of my very close friends. First, I want to share a little bit about why I wanted to get involved with Make-A-Wish.
I attended Summit High School in New Jersey for all four years of high school. One of my close family friends had a wish granted for her going into high school. Sarah and I had grown up together and, for about 10 years, lived on the same block.
Sarah wished to be in a movie and Make-A-Wish flew her and her family out to California. On the day of her wish, she got picked up in a limo along with two other wish kids. They were driven to the studio where they were filming one of the “Transformers” movies. The set location was secret and no one besides the people involved with the movie had access. When Sarah and the others got there, they discovered they each had their own individual trailer with their name on it. Inside was a standard trailer for actors but it was stocked with movies, apparel, food, and many other things. After that, Sarah got her hair and makeup done for the movie. While that was being finished, she was given a giant “Transformers” poster signed by the entire cast. Actor Adrian Greenier, famous from “Entourage,” randomly popped in to talk to Sarah.
After hair and makeup, Sarah headed over to wardrobe where they picked out an outfit for her. She and her family were greeted by one of the head producers who followed them around all day and ensured they received the proper treatment. During the experience, Sara also met Michael Bay, the director, and Ramon Rodriguez, one of the main actors. The setting of the wish kid scene was at the Princeton library with kids who were posing as college students. The scene involved a Transformer that had come storming through the library and Sarah had to freak out.
Sarah’s wish was incredibly helpful in boosting her morale. This wish had a tremendous impact on her family as well. I got to see firsthand how dramatically this changed Sarah’s mentality and view of life. This has helped her recover from her transplant and she is currently doing really well.
The wish that Sarah received made me want to get involved and change the lives of other children with life-threatening illnesses. I was shocked that Colgate did not have a Make-A-Wish club, so I proposed the idea to a few of my good friends. We started out by getting signatures around campus for those who wanted to be involved and writing a constitution of the bylaws. Eventually, we presented in front of the Student Government Association and got our club approved.
Over the last three years we have maintained a close connection with the Make-A-Wish Central New York chapter. We have sponsored three Colgate Men’s Ice Hockey games and hosted a wish announcement during our third game in late February. We have hosted wish families at each of these events, which has been the most rewarding experience of it all. These Make-A-Wish hockey nights have raised about $2,000 in total. Our other big event is our Walk for Wishes/5K run in the fall semester. We have hosted two Walks in the past two years and have raised a tremendous $24,000. Make-A-Wish Central New York has been incredibly helpful in the planning and preparation for these events. Our club could not be happier to host wish families and to see the firsthand impact.
I am looking forward to passing along the club to new leaders and continuing granting wishes. I hope to maintain a close relationship with Make-A-Wish after graduation in May.