Make-A-Wish 2018 Toledo BIG Wish® Gala!

As the old saying goes: We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.

Three big principles of any solid financial plan are to save, spend and give. Most people forget about the giving part, though, because they think mostly about saving and spending.

But giving is just as important. It softens the heart of the giver and frees their soul from dependence on money. You’ll never walk away from giving feeling bad! (Source)

Those wise words from the money guru himself, Dave Ramsey, resonate in my mind as I eagerly raid my closet for something to wear to the upcoming Make-A-Wish 2018 Toledo BIG Wish® Gala!


Make-a-Wish Foundation is a household name, but how much do we really know about it?

The heartfelt experience of local wish kids coupled with ongoing independent research from a pediatric specialist illustrating the impact of wishes on kids battling critical illnesses will be the highlights of the 2018 Make-A-Wish® Ohio Kentucky & Indiana BIG Wish® Gala, presented by RMF Nooter, to be held on Friday, April 13 at the Hilton Garden Inn. An event fundraising goal of $150,000 has been set to help make wishes come true for at least 18 local kids battling critical illnesses in Northwest Ohio.

An event fundraising goal of $150,000 has been set to help make wishes come true for at least 18 local kids battling critical illnesses in Northwest Ohio.

Dr. Anup Patel, Section Chief of Pediatric Neurology and Director of the Complex Epilepsy Clinic at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, was inspired to conduct an academic research study of the physical and financial outcomes of a wish journey on eligible kids after observing firsthand the impact of a wish on patients. Preliminary observations of his study will be conveyed during the BIG Wish Gala. (Pics from 2017 BIG Wish Gala)


Currently, only one out of every two eligible kids experience a wish.

One of the reasons Dr. Patel has since joined the Make-A-Wish America Advisory Board is to increase medical provider awareness of the benefits of a granted wish on eligible kids. Currently, only one out of every two eligible kids experience a wish. During the Gala, wish kid Hannah, of Northwood, Ohio, and her mom will speak about how Hannah’s treatment journey inspired her to wish to be a medical student. She ultimately hopes to become a pediatrician.



 WHAT:           Make-A-Wish 2018 Toledo BIG Wish® Gala                                                 


WHERE:            Hilton Garden Inn at Levis Commons 

6165 Levis Commons Boulevard Perrysburg, Ohio 43551


WHEN:               Friday, April 13th

6:30 p.m. – Registration, Cocktails & Silent Auction

7:30 p.m. Dinner Program

TICKETS:         Tickets and event sponsorship information are available at

The early findings of Dr. Patel’s study will be highlighted at the event, with the full results to be published later in 2018. Currently, there are nearly 123 medically eligible wish kids in Northwest Ohio.

In addition to hearing the inspiring stories from kids and families whose lives have been changed by a granted wish, two local professionals will be honored by Make-A-Wish:

  • Volunteer of the Year – Linda Chaney. Volunteering to support multiple wishes at a time, Linda truly believes in the Make-A-Wish and does everything she can to make sure all of her wish kids have an incredible wish journey.
  • Medical Professional of the Year – Sue Hoover, ProMedica. Sue refers every child that is eligible to Make-A-Wish; she’s referred over 100 children during her time at ProMedica.


I am looking forward to learning more and sharing what I learn. Are you familiar with Make-A-Wish Foundation? Are you interested in learning more and/or donating or perhaps know someone who is? Please feel free to share and tag a friend. And stay tuned for my follow-up post.


10 Ways to Keep Kids Active in Toledo This Winter

Its official Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow; we will have 6 more weeks of winter! 6 more weeks of the kids getting home from school just before dark, 6 more weeks of not just cold temps, but, wind chill temps too! And let’s be honest, we live in Northwest Ohio, 6 weeks is being generous, sometimes Spring time weather doesn’t grace us with its presence until mid-May! Pair all that with the fact that The Center for Disease Control and Prevention stipulates that children need at least 60 minutes of aerobic activity a day… (Specifically; vigorous-intensity aerobic activity on at least 3 days per week,  muscle strengthening activities, such as gymnastics or push-ups, at least 3 days per week, and bone strengthening activities, such as jumping rope or running, at least 3 days per week as part of your child’s 60 or more minutes). (Source; )…and to further complicate the issue one can’t forget about homework, parents’ work schedule, evening activities, and the lure of the screen. It’s enough to make even the most optimistic parent want to just toss in the towel, call it a winter, and hibernate till spring.

First things first, let’s check those screens into the Mobile Motel where they can recharge and rest up for a few hours. (I would encourage your family to come up with check-in and check-out times that suit your family’s schedule. Having the screens out of site and out of mind will help remove that temptation. Added bonus, you will always know where the screen is & it will be charged. Winning!!).





10 Ways to Keep Kids Active in Toledo This Winter:

  1. Walk to school! We started walking to school this year and while there was a bit of resistance in the beginning we have all come to enjoy and look forward to our walks in the morning. And recently our school introduced Active4.Me. It is a program that promotes physical activity and walkable communities. Active4.Me uses a barcode system to keep track of students’ active trips to and from school, CO2, calories, miles and how much gas savings for each student, their classroom, grade or for the whole district. It notifies parents that children have arrived safely, students can win prizes, and it is a great way to promote safe active communities. Website:
  2. Earn Prizes for being Active!?! Winter Quest by Metroparks Toledo is a great initiative to get everyone outdoors and active. Simply download your journal, track your activity, and submit it via a message on the Metropark’s Facebook page or in person to be entered into a drawing for a prize. Names are drawn every Monday….but hurry Winter Quest end February 28th. Website:
  3. Feel like life with kids is a 3-ring circus? Why not make it official and sign them up for Circus Classes! Birds Eye View Circus is Toledo’s Premiere Circus School and Performance Space. They offer Trapeze, Silks, Lyra, Aerial, Tight Wire, etc. drop in or classes for youth and adults. Website:
  4. Make it a family date at Ohio Skate! Why let the kids have all the fun? Skate rentals are reasonably priced to accommodate most budgets. For list of locations, prices, hours, etc. click on link to website:
  5. Spend the Day at Maumee Bay State Park! The Lodge offers Day Passes Sunday- Thursday (8am-10pm). Children 2 & under are FREE, Children 3 & Up and Adults are $12 + tax for the day. That means you have all access to the locker rooms, sauna, hot tub, pool, splash area, kids area, arcade space, & fireplaces. What’s more, if it snows you can sled down the big hill, and if we get 6 inches you can rent skis too…then go warm up by the fireplace with hot cocoa or take a dip in the hot tub. This is a great one for Sundays, family fun days!! Website:
  6. Ice ice baby! Take the kiddos to the only open air ice rink in northwest Ohio & southeast Michigan, at Ottawa Park!! General Admission is $4 (3 & under are free) Skate rental is $2. For directions, hours, etc. click on link to their website:
  7. Say Cheese! Enjoy a Photo Scavenger Hunt at the Park(s)! Since the Parks uphold the motto of “Take only memories, leave nothing but footprints.”- Chief Seattle- a photo scavenger hunt is perfect! Put together a quick list of items to find, grab the camera, and have kiddos snap shots as you walk one of the trails. To add to the fun and adventure, challenge yourselves to visit a different park each week, print off the kiddos’ findings and let them put together a winter book with all their pictures.photohunt
  8. Prefer a more climate controlled park? One that is bright long after the sun goes down? Then head for the sky, Sky Zone! Half hour jump times are just $10, one hour is $15, for more pricing options and hours (Toddler Time: Fridays 10am-12pm, $8 per toddler, parents are FREE) click on website link….don’t forget your Sky Socks! Website:
  9. Swing sets indoors!?! Dreams do come true! Take the kiddos to Sylvania Playland where they can enjoy five inflatables, four swing sets, & a toddler area. Care to extend the fun? Play a game of glow-in-the-dark mini golf, 18 holes, with 4 awesome themes (underwater, pirates, dinosaurs, knights and dragons). For location, hours, and pricing click on the link to the website:
  10. There’s only one place your child can go to sail on a pirate ship, narrowly escape a monster shark, trek the jungle among gorillas and iguanas, weave his way through a dazzling maze, defy gravity, visit a neighboring kingdom’s castle, and then take a seat on his own castle’s throne – all in one day! Funigans!! Kiddos can bounce, slide, jump, and run around on their giant inflatables, play Lazer tag, and challenge one another in the arcade. For location, hours, pricing, etc. click on link to website:

Have a favorite activity that your kiddos enjoy during the winter time that didn’t make the list? Please share.