Kids Giving to Kids

Submitted by Steve Cucci, Wish Alum

Editor’s Note: Wish alum Steve Cucci lives in southern Madison County with his wife and children. Steve’s wish to go on an Alaskan cruise came true in 1997 and that wish continues to inspire family and community. His children  brought the concept of fundraising for Make-A-Wish into their schools and have hosted several events over the past few years. Below is a write-up from Steve about their most recent fundraiser. We thank this awesome group for continuing to wish it forward!

In a time when things seem uncertain and the road that lies ahead keeps changing, there is a glimmer of hope, a light at the end of the tunnel. We all can grab this light and hold onto it, let it give us the strength, courage and hope we all need to get us through the toughest of times. 

Cassidy Wagner
Wish kid Cassidy in 2010 (photo from Utica O-D)

This past February, a small group of girls from the Brookfield Girls Modified Basketball Team came together with the idea of doing a fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Central New York. However, this fundraiser had special meaning. One of the student athletes on the Brookfield  team – Cassidy Wagner – is a former wish kid. Cassidy was born with two heart conditions and had her first surgery at just two days old. Since then, she has endured a total of four heart surgeries and several heart procedures. In 2010, at the age of six, Cassidy’s wish came true. She and her family were picked up in a stretch limo and taken on her dream shopping spree.

In addition to Cassidy’s wish experience, the Make-A-Wish Foundation holds special meaning for another team member – Kylee Cucci. Her dad, Steve, also received a wish from Make-A-Wish when he was a teenager. Steve is now a 24-year cancer survivor.

The players on the Brookfield Girls Modified Basketball Team set a goal to raise $20 per player.  The players reached out for sponsors and had those individuals sign their Make-A-Wish t-shirts, which they wore during game warm-ups. In addition to sponsorships, they also sold wish stars and bracelets. Over the course of one month, they raised an astonishing $596.23.

Due to the pandemic, Make-A-Wish Central New York has had to pause most wishes, as well as its annual fundraisers, which support wishes. When much is on hold until further notice, the hope of getting back to a sense of normalcy can be seen through this group of girls and the hope they have provided for future wish kids.

On behalf of the Brookfield Girls Modified Basketball Team, thank you to all who donated  and helped the girls make wish kids’ dreams come true.

Cucci bball team logo


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