Mascot Miracles Deliver Smiles to Herriman FamiliesJan 27, 2016 08:34AM ● By Bryan Scott
By Hope Zitting | [email protected]
South Valley - To make time still for just a small moment is something that many wish to accomplish. When hard times seem too difficult to bear, making time stop may be the only wish that a burdened individual may hope for. Fortunately for some, Mascot Miracles Foundation can aid in the success of just that.
On Dec. 17 at the Heber Valley Historic Railroad, the Mascot Miracles Foundation held its annual Polar Express Train Ride on the Heber Creeper.
Based in West Jordan, the Mascot Miracles Foundation is a non-profit organization that was founded in 2013. The goal of this foundation is to help create a happy and fun atmosphere for children who have serious or terminal illnesses and their families.
This foundation uses professional, college and corporate mascots to organize and attend events, such as birthday parties for the children or spending time individually with the children and their family.
“I love the mascots. The mascots came on my birthday. I love them,” 4-year-old Avery “AJ” Burgon, one of the children on the Polar Express ride, said.
“It’s great for the kids and for everybody,” Avery’s grandfather Steve said.
The annual Mascot Miracles Polar Express train ride was a 90-minute journey to Santa’s Workshop at the North Pole and back, full of laughter, singing and smiles.
After the elves on the Heber Creeper served the children and their families with hot cocoa and chocolate chip cookies, each of the Heroes [children who have or are currently recovering from a serious or terminal illness or disease] received a tailor-made, personal Build-A-Bear teddy bear that was fitted specifically for the Hero’s interests and likes.
“I like the train that’s big. I love mascots. I had fun. Felix is my favorite. I like my bear,” Charley Bella White, one of the children, said.
“The train ride was great for the kids. It’s nice to actually have people who all have the same hope,” Charley’s father said.
“It was amazing. This is the first time we’ve ever done anything like this, so it’s been a blast. This is the first time we’ve been able to take her out because she’s been so sick. They’re so supportive. It’s just extra special when you come and just, like, throw presents and love and support. It’s amazing,” Angie White, Charley’s mother, said.
“People that can relate to what we go through; when you have kids with severe disabilities – families sometimes don’t understand, friendships change. So, you know, Mascot Miracles, it helps us find other people to connect to that help us and love our kids. I mean, just all the mascots help the kids. And the kids love them back. We definitely want to spread the word for the fundraising portion so everyone can enjoy what we are able to. We want everybody to have their chance,” Angie said.
“The thrill you get out of it. You make these kids’ fantasy a true reality. The smiles are worth it. It’s fun all the way around. Tonight was amazing. All the kids, new faces, a lot of them you’ve never seen before, and they’re still your best friend. Tonight was awesome,” Chris Podborny, one of the mascots, said.
For more information about the Mascot Miracles Foundation, go to mascotmiraclesfoundation.org, or visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/mascotmiraclesfoundation.