MONTVILLE, NJ - Montville Township High School (MTHS) juniors Randi Deitz and Maddy Carver, co-presidents of MTHS Make-A-Wish, say they “love” working for such a worthwhile organization.

MTHS Make-A-Wish is affiliated with Make-A-Wish New Jersey. 

Make-A-Wish New Jersey’s mission statement is: “We grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength, and joy.”

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They report that since 1983, Make-A-Wish New Jersey has brought hope, strength, and joy to more than 9,000 seriously-ill children throughout all 21 counties in the Garden State.

Wendy Zwoboda, MTHS Make-A-Wish advisor, said, “Our club only raises funds to help this become a reality.”

The club has approximately 160 MTHS students from all grade levels in order to promote Make-A-Wish in every class. Deitz and Carver are looking forward to recruiting new freshmen to the club for next year.

The students explained that throughout the entire year the MTHS Make-A-Wish has can-shake fund raisers every Sunday at locations such as The Red Barn Plaza and Eli’s Bagels. During the summer, they have can-shakes at Delizia Pizza. A can-shake is when people from an organization stand in front of a store with a can to collect donations.

Throughout the year, the club sells candy during lunch. In December, they sell candy canes, in February, Valentine’s Day candy, and in the spring, they sell spring candy.

They also raise money by holding clothing drives. The club makes long sleeved t-shirts with the Make-A-Wish logo and sells them at school.

Another fund raiser is Restaurant Night. This is when restaurants such as Chipotle, Buffalo Wild Wings, and California Pizza Kitchen donate a percentage of their profits for the night to the club from those who have MTHS coupons. Chipotle donated 50 percent of their profits. The California Pizza Kitchen fund raiser is coming soon. So be on the lookout.

The club’s goal for this year is $3,000, and Zwobada believes that with this month’s candy sale, the club should achieve its goal.

Deitz and Carver have been affiliated with the club throughout their high school careers. As sophomores they were public relations officers and, they have gotten more involved as time went on.

Deitz became interested in the organization when her sister Leigh was president of the MTHS Make-A-Wish club. She knew that she wanted to follow in her sister’s footsteps. Deitz was president of the club this year as a junior and will be co-president of the club with Carver next year as a senior.

Carver said, “I was hooked when I was a public relations officer for the club.”

There are 11 other officers of the club. They are: Co-Presidents Jess Meyers and Allison Brachfeld, Treasurer Livia Shine, Co-Public Relations Gwyn Tropia and Lauren Trifari, Co-Secretaries Brooke Brozyna and Megan Blitz, Co-Communications Directors Hannah Massey (emails) and Sophie Reichman (social media), and Co-Webmasters Ally Yu and Jenna Koske.

Zwoboda said, “The students who are members of Make-A-Wish are truly exceptional. They are kind, empathetic people, who really enjoy raising money for the New Jersey Chapter. Their names are never on the morning announcements, there is no recognition for being a member in this club and no honor cord at graduation. They are just wonderful people who are helping make life better for others. I love these kids.”

The organization has raised over $12,000 in the past few years, and some individuals in the Montville Township community have been recipients of Make-A-Wish.

Make-A-Wish New Jersey makes decisions based on the following:

Step 1: Referral - Rely on medical professionals, parents and children themselves for referrals. Children who have reached the age of 2½ and are under the age of 18 at the time of referral and have not received a wish from another wish-granting organization may be eligible for a wish.

Step 2: Medical Eligibility - Determine a child’s medical eligibility with the help of the treating physician. To receive a wish, the child must be diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition (i.e., a progressive, degenerative or malignant condition that has placed the child’s life in jeopardy). 

Step 3: The Wish - Send one of our enthusiastic wish teams to learn the child’s one true wish. These committed volunteers connect with wish children, awaken their imaginations and help them envision an experience with the power to change lives. 

Step 4: Creating Joy - Wish granters create an unforgettable experience driven by the child’s creativity. They strive to personalize each wish and to make it match the wish kid's idea of a perfect day.

The MTHS Make-A-Wish donations go directly to Make-A-Wish New Jersey, and the New Jersey chapter makes all financial and final decisions.  

They have sent families on trips, to concerts, and on vacations. They have taken families to ball games, to meet famous singers, and to concerts. Children have wished to meet people, travel places, be things such as pilots, politicians, firefighters for a day.  WHATEVER a child/teen wishes, Make-A-Wish New Jersey chapter does its best to make the wish come true!

Pam and Steve Deitz, parents of Randi, had this to say about their daughter: "Randi has acquired and implemented tremendous responsibility and leadership skills while holding the position of co-president of Make-A-Wish.  We are extremely proud of her for taking on this role for two years." 

Lisa and Michael Carver, parents of Maddy said, "We are so grateful that our daughter Maddy Carver is extremely involved in the Make-A- Wish foundation, as this is an organization that is very close to our hearts. We are proud knowing that she is making a difference in children's lives by 'paying it forward' to the club at MTHS.

Deitz is planning on majoring in elementary education when she goes to college, and Carver wants to major in communications.