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SMC Stars help make ‘wishes’ come true

Alicia Smith | Thursday, February 18, 2010

After being inspired by some family members involved with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Saint Mary’s College senior Stephanie Dolik decided to start the SMC Stars — a club designed to grant wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions.

Joined by seniors Sara Casey and Lindsay Morrin as well as sophomore Anne Bolitho, Dolik, who serves as the club’s president, founded the SMC Stars in November 2009.
The club has two advisors — Professor Joyce Hicks of Saint Mary’s College and Bobbie O’Conner, a representative from the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Indiana.

The club’s first “Wish kid” visited campus in November. Jacob Krauss, dreamed of doing one thing in South Bend: playing with the Notre Dame Marching Band.

The SMC Stars planned an additional event to make Krauss’ weekend special.

“We got to meet [Krauss] and we kind of contributed to his weekend a little bit by throwing him a bowling event because his favorite sport is bowling,” Dolik said.  “That was our first experience interacting with a Wish kid and we had a really good turn out and I think people are getting really excited about future events.”

According to Bolitho, another event the Stars worked on was selling ornaments for a Wish tree before Winter Break. The club appeared in the Noble Family Dining Hall to display their Wish tree and spread the word about the club.

Dolik said the club hopes to “grant as many wishes as possible” as their long term goal.
Though the Stars were created in November, their first meeting took place after Winter Break. The club has 20 members.

“It’s a little challenging because the other Make-A-Wish clubs at other schools we looked at are from much larger universities so we have to compare it to what we can do here,” Morrin said.

Currently, the group has not finalized any activities as they are attempting to establish a solid foundation for the club.

“We just want to grow a good solid base of members,” Dolik said. “My main goal is just to help the club survive in the next few years and get it up on its feet.”

The club plans to focus on one large fundraising event and then hold several smaller ones throughout the academic year, Morrin said.

According to Dolik, each wish costs anywhere from $6,000 to $8,000 to fulfill. The group hopes to eventually earn enough money to be assigned a Wish kid of their own.

“If we raise enough money we’ll get our own Wish kid,” Morrin said. “Make-A-Wish will find us one. But until we get closer to our goal we’re just trying to raise awareness.”

According to Bolitho, the club will be sending out e-mails to the Saint Mary’s community with the date of their next meeting.

“We’d love to have more ideas,” Dolik said. “We’re really open to anything and we’re really excited about this year and what it will bring.”