Distance 4 Dreams does Disney
XU club participates in the annual Disney Marathon over winter break
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
"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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