February 13, 2013 Edition

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Community event
to help grant wishes

Gretchen Hunt

On Friday, communities throughout Northeast Arkansas, including Walnut Ridge and Hoxie, will band together to help the Make-A-Wish Foundation grant wishes for area children.

Local Make-A-Wish bucket brigade coordinator Felipe Baiza said approximately 50 people have volunteered to help man intersections from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Groups and businesses participating include Hoxie and Walnut Ridge's police and fire departments, the Hoxie High School dance team, Hometown Behavioral Health, Rent One, Three's Company Hair Salon and Arkansas Excellent Transport.

This is the third year for Lawrence County to officially participate in the fund-raiser, which is coordinated by the Triple FM Radio Group and KAIT. The community donated $10,000 each of the first two years.

"A typical wish costs about $5,000, and we have granted four over the past two years," Baiza said. "The best thing is that all the money is used to grant wishes of children right here in Northeast Arkansas."

Baiza said they have had continued support of the project from many, such as Carson Cooper, a Hoxie School student who has raised at least $100 each year on his own.

In addition, Hoxie Elementary School has helped with fundraising efforts by selling stars as part of a drive that is headed up by Lynn Guntharp.

"They have made a huge impact each year," Baiza said.

This year the goal for the Walnut Ridge and Hoxie road blocks is $12,000.

"I believe we can do it with the great amount of response I have had so far," Baiza said.

Baiza said he will continue the tradition of dressing in a costume for the event.

"Those who want to know what it is will have to come by and see it," he said.

The road blocks will be located at the intersection of Highway 67B and Main Street, near the railroad tracks, in Walnut Ridge and at the stop light in Hoxie.

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