A dream of taking a Disney cruise will soon be a reality for Penticton resident Aeson Moen, thanks to the hard work of employees at Warehouse One.
Since 1996, the clothing store has paired with Children’s Wish Foundation and commits to making eight children’s wishes come true each year.
This year, Aeson was one of those children selected to have his wish come true.
At just 13-months-old, Aeson was diagnosed with cancer, discovered during a bad bout of the flu.
Two days after his diagnosis, he was undergoing chemotherapy.
Now six years old, Aeson has been in remission for four-and-half years, and has a love for school and the outdoors.
Warehouse One employees launched their fundraiser earlier this month with a bake sale in store, raising nearly $1,000 in its first day for Aeson.
“We’ve granted 72 wishes,” said Louise Gauthier, the district manager area lead for Warehouse One. “Aeson is our 73rd.”
It takes approximately $10,000 to make one child’s wish come true, explained Gauthier, so the store has put a call out to the community across the Okanagan and into the Cariboo, for help fundraising.
That help, she explained, saw 18 children’s wishes come true last year.
While the goal has always been eight, Gauthier said managers always push for at least 12.
“We believe in giving back,” said Gauthier. “We can teach our staff how to sell, but it takes a very different commitment to share with them humanity. So this is our way of doing that.”
Staff have launched bake sales, book and bottle drives throughout the year in an effort to raise funds.
“Once we grant one wish, we’re on to the next,” she said. “It’s a team effort!”
Past employees, said Gauthier, continue to get involved.
Aeson’s mother, Anna, said she was blown away by the staff’s commitment to granting wishes.
“We’re pretty excited! I know Aeson is,” she said, adding Aeson has always shown an interest in Disney cruises since a young age, calling the cruise the “big boat.”
“He’s finally going to get to go on the ‘big boat,’” said Moen.
A date for the cruise is still being worked out.
Through the holidays, funds from gift box sales and other independent fundraisers in stores will help support Warehouse One’s efforts in making children’s wishes come true.