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Distance 4 Dreams does Disney

XU club participates in the annual Disney Marathon over winter break

By Molly Boes
On January 10, 2012

A group of 32 students dedicated

a few days of their winter

break to help make dreams come


True to their slogan "dedicated

to dreams, no matter the distance,"

the Distance 4 Dreams club traveled

to Disney World to participate

in the Disney Marathon Weekend,

one of the biggest marathons in

the U.S., for the third year in a row.

Distance 4 Dreams raises

money in order to fund a trip to

Disney World for a family through

A Special Wish Foundation. A

Special Wish Foundation is a nonprofit

organization designed to

grant the wishes of children 21

years old and younger who have

been diagnosed with a life-threatening


When a family is sent to Disney

World through the foundation,

they stay at Disney's Give the Kids

the World Village, an all-inclusive

resort designed for wish children

and their families.

"It's a unique, fascinating village

where hundreds of workers

and volunteers dedicate themselves

to making the wishes of

these children come true and to

giving them the greatest vacation

they could imagine," junior

Kathryn Evanoff, co-trip and

communication coordinator, said.

This year, Distance 4 Dreams

is aiming to send two families to

Disney World, but they are open

to the idea of sending three if

they raise enough funds.

In order to collect money to

send families to Disney World,

which costs about $4,000 per

family, the club hosts on-campus

fundraisers and sends out letters

asking for pledges. These pledges

can be made either per mile or for

reaching the finish line.

After doing on-campus fundraising,

a group of students and

chaperones makes the trip to

Florida to participate in the race

through the park.

Participants have the option of

running either the half marathon

or the full marathon and Disney

characters are stationed along the

path to cheer the runners on and

to pose for pictures.

Out of the 32 students that

traveled from Xavier, 19 ran the

half marathon and 12 ran the marathon.

With over $10,000 raised this

year and with more donations still

coming in, they are sending two

girls and their families to Disney

World. Melissa, a 12-year-old diagnosed

with epilepsy and dystonia,

will be making her trip with

her family in late January. Aleah,

a four-year-old diagnosed with a

congenital heart defect, and her

family will make the same trip in

late February.

"Unfortunately they couldn't

travel at the same time we did

so we did not meet them, but

we could always organize something

to meet them in the future,"

Evanoff said. "Families usually

enjoy meeting the groups that fundraise

to send them to Disney."

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