Williamsville Central School District

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Student Leaders donate more than $110,000 to Make-A-Wish WNY

On Thursday, student leaders from throughout the Williamsville Central School District formally presented the WillPower for Wishes donation to Make-A-Wish Western New York.

The campaign, which raised $110,286, is currently the second largest student-led school fundraising effort in the country for Make-A-Wish.

"This WillPower for Wishes campaign and collaboration allowed for the true spirit of our District to shine," said Abby Leonardi, a senior at Williamsville South.  "It demonstrated how we embodied the main tenants of this project: teamwork, compassion, service, perseverance, kindness, diversity, mindfulness, and connections. Together, we revealed how powerful our #WillPower truly is. I'm honored to be a part of such a special District." 

"As a parent of two Williamsville students in the District, I understand the level of commitment and compassion our District has. I'm so happy to say congratulations to all of you and all of the amazing hard work you did for us this year, during such a difficult time for everyone," added Maxine Awner, Board Chair of Make-A-Wish Western New York.  "That you were able to think not only of yourselves, but our community, and the children that are in it."


"We have this program, Kids for Wish Kids, and that's what I love so much. You were students helping other students and kids in our community and It doesn't get better than that," Mary Hazel, Manager of Development for Make-A-Wish Western New York.

"A wish is so important to kids going through difficult things. I'm so grateful that this District has raised enough to give that gift to 11 kids," added Maple East teacher and wish mom Colleen Marchetta. "We don't know, but we know they're going through something difficult and we know they need to be built up right now and shown some love. It will make a difference."

"Behind every amazing student that has contributed to the success of this program, there is a team of amazing staff who have guided and modeled what leadership and service looks like," said Board of Education Vice President Suzanne Van Sice.  "These are the skills that our students will carry into the future. Congratulations to our students for their participation and kindness. And, congratulations to the students in our community that have a wish on the way."

"The impact it has on wish kids like myself is astronomical," Maddie Nadrich, a Williamsville North graduate and former wish recipient shared.  "I'm forever grateful for everyone who has made this happen."

"It's going to change the lives of a lot of kids through Make-A-Wish, but all of us who participated in this will also never be the same," said Dr. John McKenna, Acting Superintendent of Schools.  "We'll always have the spirit inside of us to help and do more for others."