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Monroe Township, New Jersey – Many teenagers might groan at the thought of being up and at ‘em by 7 a.m. on a weekend, but Tyler Berardo, a junior at Wall High School, was nothing but smiles on Saturday, March 24, for Wall’s Walk for Wishes at the Wall Township Municipal Complex to benefit Make-A-Wish® New Jersey.
“Make-A-Wish means a lot to me because it gives kids the opportunity to have their fondest wishes granted,” said Tyler, 17, who remembers first hearing about Make-A-Wish when a local boy had his wish to meet the Foo Fighters granted.
Tyler’s personal involvement with the mission was inspired by his family’s commitment to Make-A-Wish.
Tyler’s father, Joseph Berardo, Jr., CEO and president for MagnaCare, has been a member of Make-A-Wish New Jersey’s Board of Directors since September of 2009 and was a major donor to the Samuel & Josephine Plumeri Wishing Place capital campaign.
The Berardo family’s gift was designated to fund a special room that would allow older wish children to experience the wish process in a memorable and age-appropriate way. Together the family remained involved throughout the design and construction of this room, officially named the Berardo Teen Lounge.
“The teen room endowment allowed me to bring my own three children together with ‘wish teens’ in designing the room,” said Mr. Berardo. “The experience allowed me to interact and have discussions with my children about charitable giving and spending time on something that is bigger than ourselves.”
The lesson hit home with Tyler. “I learned I could make a difference in these kids’ lives. It inspired me to want to do more and continue my involvement any way possible.”
With guidance from Wall High School’s DECA advisor, Robyn Krueger, Tyler and a group of fellow DECA and Wall Business and Finance Academy members organized Wall’s Walk for Wishes, with a portion of the proceeds going to Make-A-Wish New Jersey.
“About 140 people attended. I am proud of the turnout, especially since it is just the first year,” said Tyler. “I hope to make it an annual event and keep expanding it into something bigger and bigger.”
About Make-A-Wish® New Jersey
Make-A-Wish grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. According to a 2011 study of wish impact, most health professionals surveyed say a wish come true can affect their health outcomes. Kids say wishes give them renewed strength to fight their illness, and their parents say these experiences strengthen the entire family. Based in Phoenix, Make-A-Wish is one of the world’s leading children’s charities, serving children in every community in the United States, its territories and in 47 countries on five continents. Make-A-Wish New Jersey was founded in 1983. Serving children in every municipality in the Garden State, Make-A-Wish New Jersey has granted more than 7,100 wishes since its inception. For more information about Make-A-Wish New Jersey, call 800-252-WISH or visit www.nj.wish.org and discover how you can share the power of a wish®.