Make-a-Wish Recipient Pays It Back

SOUTH BURLINGTON - A Canaan teenager who traveled to Hawaii with his family six years ago, courtesy of Make-a-Wish Vermont, showed his appreciation to the organization that covered the cost of the trip.Luke Belleville, 16, went to the Healthy Living Market and Café in South Burlington to sell Christmas trees with his father Friday. Proceeds from the sale of the trees, which came from the family’s tree farm, will benefit Make-a-Wish Vermont so other children can have wishes fulfilled.Make-a-Wish Vermont grants wishes to individuals with life-threatening illnesses. Belleville qualified for the trip because he has heart problems.Wishes give the opportunity for patients and their families to forget about their troubles for a while, Mark Ray, a board member for Make-a-Wish Vermont, said. That wish could be the turning point in their health care and recovery. Make-a-Wish Vermont grants 35 to 40 wishes a year, Ray said.The cost of the average wish is about $10,000. Most wishes are trips, but not always. In Belleville’s case, he wanted to see a manta ray.Please see The Newport Daily Express Monday for the complete story.