FOLEY - For the second year in a row, OWA hosted “Beyond the Moment” through a partnership with Magic Moments, the only wish-granting organization dedicated solely to children of Alabama who …
FOLEY - For the second year in a row, OWA hosted “Beyond the Moment” through a partnership with Magic Moments, the only wish-granting organization dedicated solely to children of Alabama who suffer from chronic, life-threatening illnesses.
“The “magic moment” can be anything from a trip to Disney World to a shopping spree in New York,” said Magic Moments Mobile Regional Director Kimberly Etherton. “Our main goal is just to help put joy and hope back in these children’s lives who are going through so much, more than I could ever imagine.”
According to Etherton, there’s two things that set Magic Moments apart from other wish-granting organizations. The first is that the organization focuses solely on children in Alabama. The second is the “Beyond the Moment” program, which invites all children involved with the organization who have already had their magic moments to come together for a joint event.
“We hold events throughout the state through the year, and it helps the families stay connected with us and each other,” Etherton said. “They make friends with the other families that are going through similar circumstances. This is our Magic Moments family, and that’s what we are: one big happy family.”
The “Beyond the Moments” program is completely free for the families involved, with the recent event being entirely funded by OWA. This year saw double the number of children participate, with nearly 400 families attending.
“This is such a great cause,” said OWA General Manager Steve Honeycutt. “To see the smiling faces on the kids and everything just makes us feel so good about doing this … I think we get as much joy out of this as the families do, and we’re going to continue to do it; it’s a partnership now and we’ll do it as long as they want to do it.”
“These Beyond the Moments give families these opportunities throughout the year as wish families to come together and be with people that get our lives,” said Susan Lee, member of the Magic Moments’ family. “We call them our second family, we’re always able to just walk up and we feel normal, which is not the case in a lot of places … It’s almost like when we come together like we haven’t been apart, even though we only see each other a couple of times a year, and I think it’s just because of that bond that if a child has a seizure it’s not a big deal, or if a child has a meltdown or gets upset it’s not a big deal. We understand that every family is so different and so we feel really at home with the families.”
For more info on Magic Moments or to donate to the Magic Moments activities, visit www.magicmoments.org.
The Park at OWA is now open seven days a week through mid-August when days will change to Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. For more information, check out visitowa.com.