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Make-A-Wish kids hunt eggs at Botanic Garden

The Easter Bunny pumps up kids moments before the egg hunt begins.
( / Jared Whitlock)

Make-A-Wish San Diego kids and their families on April 3 searched for Easter eggs amid exotic plants at the San Diego Botanic Garden.

Mia Fricke is so excited to meet the Easter Bunny, she hops up and down.
Mia Fricke is so excited to meet the Easter Bunny, she hops up and down.
( / Jared Whitlock)

“There’s something that settles the mind when you’re in this environment,” said Julian Duval, the executive director of the Botanic Garden. “It’s important families in this situation experience that.”

The occasion marked the 20th anniversary of the Botanic Garden egg hunt. Besides looking for eggs, kids got the chance to visit the Easter Bunny and pot succulent plants to take home.

Make-A-Wish San Diego President and CEO Chris Sichel said the foundation grants 200 wishes a year for children in the region with life-threatening illnesses.

Anna adds an egg to her basket.
( / Jared Whitlock)

“Granting wishes takes up most of our time, and so we’re not able to coordinate many events,” Sichel said. “So this is such a gift from the Botanic Garden.”

Sichel said the egg hunt benefits not only children who are sick, but also their families.

“When a kid is sick, if there are other kids in the family, sometimes they don’t get as much attention,” he said. “This is for the entire family to enjoy.”

Michael Walendowsky leaves no stone unturned in his hunt.
( / Jared Whitlock)

He added that events like this are important because when a child has a life-threatening illness, often one parent has to stop working, cutting discretionary income for family outings.

Victoria LaPierre’s son, Robert, was diagnosed with leukemia lymphoma in February. This was the first Make-A-Wish event her family attended.

“It was nice to see other families come together to have an event for the children,” LaPierre said. “After doing this, we’re going to make a point to attend more Make-A-Wish events.”

Visit www.sandiego.wish.org.


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