Seven year-old Greyson Tibbits of Eau Claire wished to go to Disney World – and had his wish granted.
He celebrated his “big wish day” at Cold Stone Creamery with a party thrown for him by the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and on March 18th the family left for Florida.
Now, the Make-A-Wish Foundation will host a benefit concert for Tibbits at 7 p.m. on Thursday night in Schofield Auditorium.
Junior Kally Luck, a member of Leadership Circles, said people should consider coming to the Thursday night concert to make a difference in someone’s life.
“Those opportunities are presented to you all the time, but maybe you don’t take advantage of them,” Luck said. “This is something fun for yourself, and you get to see whose life you are making a difference in.”
Tibbits has been living with a rare heart condition called subaortic stenosis. The disease causes a narrowing of the left ventricle of the heart just below the aortic valve, according to the Mayo Clinic. This in turn cuts flow of blood resulting in side effects that can range from mild to life threatening. The narrowing tends to progress as the affected grows older and can lead to a required surgery.
In Tibbits’ life, this is the case — he will undergo an upcoming surgery, potentially on route to a disease free and healthy life.
The benefit concert presents an opportunity for anyone to make a contribution. The proceeds will go towards paying for the remainder of Tibbits’ trip. Although there is no entry fee, guests are encouraged to make a donation.
The event will feature two a cappella groups on campus, Audacious and Fifth Element. Also playing will be Daniel and the Lion, a Madison area band. From the Eau Claire area, Gary and the Schwartzhoffs and Beacon James will perform.
The concert was brainstormed by Leadership Circles, a campus organization which provides students with a $1,000 grant to work collaboratively on a leadership development project on campus or in the community. The Make-A-Wish Foundation was contacted by members of the Circles group and then in turn found a child in Eau Claire they could help.
“To grant a wish, for the Make-A-Wish Foundation it costs $6,000 and then $3,000 more in in-kinds donations,” Luck said. “In order to raise that, we’re having the benefit concert, and we’re also having the bake sale. We also dropped off little jars at local businesses for people to put money and change into.”
Freshman Sean Thuesen said the event is a great opportunity to get involved.
“Here in Eau Claire this is a great way to build a connection and feel how the campus and community can interchange,” he said. “There are so many opportunities to volunteer but this concert is saying, ‘Here’s a boy who needs help,’ and we’re able to the best of our ability step up and say, ‘We want to help you.’”