ORLANDO, Fla. (February 2019): Charlie Krueger always wanted to visit Disney World and LEGOLAND, but has never been able to go. Charlie suffers from a life-threatening autoimmune disease. Jim Mai, a board member of Kids Wish Network, and host of the annual Melissa Mai Memorial Golf Scramble, dedicated his 11th annual scramble to Charlie in order to raise funds for his wish. Each player sponsored a hole at the all-day event. There was also a raffle and silent auction that players participated in to win special prizes. After the golf scramble, dinner was provided with a live band for entertainment.
Jim Mai has a special place in his heart for children who suffer from life-threatening conditions, and regularly works with Kids Wish Network, a children’s charity that grants wishes for kids with life-threatening illnesses. Jim’s relationship with Kids Wish Network began after his daughter Melissa Mai was diagnosed with late stage brain cancer. Despite going through multiple surgeries to remove the tumor, as well as radiation and chemotherapy treatments, her condition continued to decline. One of her last wishes was to be able to take her family to Disney World, and Kids Wish Network immediately made her wish come true. While Melissa made tons of wonderful memories with her family on her wish, she unfortunately lost her battle with cancer a year later. A few years after losing his daughter, Jim Mai started the Melissa Mai Memorial and golf scramble to both honor her memory and enable other sick children the opportunity to have their dreams come true. Charlie’s wish is close to Jim’s heart, as he takes his family to Disney World every year to honor his daughter and the wonderful memories he made with her.
Because of the generous fundraising organized by Jim Mai, Kids Wish Network was able to fly Charlie and his family to Orlando for a Disney World and LEGOLAND adventure. Charlie and his family stayed at the WorldQuest Orlando Resort. Charlie spent his first day at LEGOLAND Florida Resort, and had an awesome time admiring all the life-size LEGO sculptures and meeting his favorite LEGO characters. After his fun day at LEGOLAND, they had a relaxing dinner at Chili’s. Charlie and his family then went to Disney World for the first time. They had park hopper passes and could go to any of the four parks. After each day at Disney, Charlie and his family had wonderful dinners at The Capital Grille and The Edison in Disney Springs.
“We are humbled when our mission to create joyful moments and cherished memories for families makes a positive difference in the lives of both our Wish Kids and their families,” said Kids Wish Network Executive Tam Lai.
Kids Wish Network is a national charitable organization dedicated to infusing hope, creating happy memories, and improving the quality of life for children with life-threatening conditions and struggling with life-altering situations. KWN provides trip expenses, meals, accommodations and additional spending monies to all wish families whenever traveling as applicable. Visit www.kidswishnetwork.org to learn about our different programs, and find out how you can help make dreams come true and sponsor a wish for a deserving child.