BY JULIANNE SAAD, Staff Writer
On Oct. 31, behind the University Center, the UM-D Wishmakers hosted the first annual Wolverines on the Run 5K race. Registration was open to students and their family, faculty members and members of the local community. Runners were encouraged to wear their Halloween costumes.
Seeking inclusion, the Wishmakers extended an open invitation to a multitude of campus organizations. Their goal was to primarily raise awareness for their organization but also to raise money to donate to the Make-A-Wish foundation.
Dalia Salloum, the organization’s event co-planner spoke about their goal with putting on the run.
“Our goal is to gain attention. We haven’t been known on campus and people didn’t really know who we were. The second goal is to raise money that we can donate to Make-A-Wish,” Salloum said. “We also wanted to do something healthy, so we decided a run would be a great idea.”
Matt Wilson, the organization’s president also spoke about the purpose for the run.
“This is the first annual, so our goal this year was primarily to let everyone know who we are,” Wilson said. “We’re a new org on campus, and we want everyone to know that we do a lot of great things. We really want to engage the campus and make a difference at the same time. It’s really great to see all of these people come out and support something that I’m so passionate about.”
Salloum went into detail about why the Wishmakers strive to make a difference.
“All of us have had some sort of affiliation with cancer,” Salloum said. “We’ve had the chance to come together and console each other. It’s a family, and I love being with them. We come together in the hopes of at least granting one wish to a child, which does cost around $5,000. A kid’s job is not to be sick, or to worry about their illness. Their job is to worry about how much video games they get to play that day or when their bedtime is. We want to help kids see what they can do in life.”
Salloum’s family has been affected by cancer, making her connection to the Wishmakers more personal.
“I was already part of the Wishmakers, but once I found out about my family being directly affected, I became more passionate,” Salloum said. “I was already passionate about helping children, but that just made me want to do everything I can and more.”
For more information about the UM-D Wishmakers, contact president Matt Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org.