Liverpool 9-year-old starts bike ride fundraiser to help make wishes a reality

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LIVERPOOL, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — There are nearly 200 Make-a-Wish kids in Central New York that haven’t had their wishes granted, and a 9-year-old boy from Liverpool is trying to turn their wishes into a reality by hosting a bike ride fundraiser.

When summer started, Finn O’Toole’s dad had a challenge for him.

“I challenged him to do something for others,” Finn’s dad Patrick O’Toole said.

It was an unusual task for a nine year old, but Finn knocked it out of the park.

“I did a fundraiser for the Make-a-Wish program to help other kids that might have diseases,” Finn O’Toole, a 9-year-old from Liverpool, said.

He decided to start “Finn’s Ride for Wishes”, a 24-hour bike ride fundraiser that Finn will be leading himself.

“My goal is to ride for two hours, but at the end of the day, when we add up the total of everyone’s times we have a goal of 24 hours,” Finn said. 

Finn loves to ride his bike, so this is right up his alley. People can either pledge to ride a certain number of hours or they can donate to the cause.

“I like riding my bike and it’s something I can get my friends to do, and it’s something the kids in the hospital can’t do,” Finn said.

Finn’s goal is to raise $2,500, but any amount of money would go a long way in making a child’s wish come true. 

Finn said, “The average wish is $10,000, and we’re hoping to make part of a wish come true, or maybe even a whole wish.”

What started as a simple summer challenge turned into something Finn’s father could never imagine.

“We started by talking about a bake sale or just like raise money for an animal shelter, something small,” Patrick O’Toole said. “Then we discovered this Wish Kids program on the Make-a-Wish website.”

Pat says helping others out, whether big or small, is something our children need to learn, “We live in a society where it’s focused on self a lot, and it’s nice to think about others, and it’s nice to teach our children that other people matter.” 

COVID-19 has forced many Make-a-Wish kids to change their wishes, but there are still nearly 200 kids with unfulfilled wishes just in Central New York, and it’s other kids like Finn that are trying to make them happen. 

Finn’s Ride for Wishes is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 19, and if you would like to help Finn reach his goal and help make wishes a reality, click here. You can also keep up with Finn’s mission on their Facebook page.

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