Eau Claire (Press Release) - An annual toy drive benefiting children receiving medical care in Western Wisconsin will soon be underway. The next "Katharine's Wish" toy drive will be from November 11-22, 2013.
"Katharine's Wish" is a promise kept by 14-year old Katie Rhoten of Eau Claire, WI. In January of 2008, Katie was at Disney World when she was rushed to the ICU in an Orlando, FL hospital. She was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and hours from going into a diabetic coma. The hospital was a scary place for the then 9 year-old. However, each time Katie had a shot or other procedure, she was given a stuffed animal to ease the pain and distract her. She vowed when she was better, she would help other children who were sick and scared receiving medical care. She has kept her word.
Over the past 6 years, Katie has donated 5,000+ new toys, stuffed animals and books to hospitals in Wisconsin and Minnesota – including Mayo Clinic Health System, Sacred Heart Hospital and Marshfield Clinic.
In July 2012, Katharine became the youngest member in the Eau Claire Community Foundation's history to create a donor-advised fund. She did this in order to expand her efforts in helping more children. She has 5 years to raise $25,000 for this fund and in just one year has already raised $20,000. Once she reaches this goal, the earnings and, if needed, a portion of the principal will go directly to grants recommended for hospitals to purchase toys for children receiving medical care. A tax deductible donation to this fund can be made anytime online at www.KatharinesWish.org or through the Eau Claire Community Foundation at www.eccommunityfoundation.org. Mail your checks to ECCF/Katharine's Wish, 306 S. Barstow St. Suite 104, Eau Claire, WI 54701.
There are 25+ drop-off locations for new, unwrapped toys including; all 10 Gordy's County Markets. In Eau Claire; all three Ken Vance Dealerships, WQOW TV-18, Country Jam USA, Chippewa Valley Home Builders Association, Lori Bishop/Century 21 Metro Realty, Stucky Chiropractic, The Olive Garden, Robbins Elementary, South Middle and Memorial High Schools. Four, Fantastic Sams locations in Eau Claire & Chippewa Falls, Brad's Affordable Auto Repair in Chippewa Falls and Zanzibar Restaurant & Pub in Menomonie.