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Wish Kid Alex, 12, to run first Boilermaker with Team Make-A-Wish®


April 22, 2016

Charity Bib Partnership has raised nearly $300,000 for Make-A-Wish since 2013

BARNEVELD, N.Y. — Alex McLaughlin was diagnosed at just six-years-old with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. After being referred to Make-A-Wish® Central New York by his mother, Bonnie, Alex’s one true wish was granted in 2012. An enthusiastic sports fan, Alex travelled to New York City where he met his favorite professional baseball team.

As Alex continued with treatments, his much anticipated wish trip gave him and his family something exciting to look forward to. Alex and his family continue to show their appreciation and pay it forward by raising funds for Make-A-Wish Central New York via the Boilermaker Charity Bib Program.Alex in NYC with Yankees

Both Alex’s parents, Jim and Bonnie, have been running the Boilermaker for about 15 years. In 2014 and 2015, Jim joined Team Make-A-Wish and ran alongside supportive family and friends who ran with Team Alex. This year, 11-year-old Alex will run the 5k for the first time, taking his dad’s place. He will join 19 other ‘Team Make-A-Wish’ runners who are raising funds to grant wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions.

Team Make-A-Wish has a few spots left. To learn how to join the team and to run alongside Alex and his family and friends, visit with Boilermaker bib participants

Established by Earle C. Reed in 1978, the 15K Boilermaker Road Race was founded as a way for Reed to give back to the Utica community as a means of saying thank you for the support of Utica Boilers, his family’s business (now known as ECR International). The race began with 800 runners and today attracts more than 17,000.

Ten Central New York nonprofits were selected to participate in this year’s Charity Bib Program. In addition to Make-A-Wish Central New York, they include ARC Onondaga, Food Bank of Central New York, Sitrin Health Care Center, Upstate Cerebral Palsy, Masonic Care Community, Central New York Veterans Outreach Center, Midtown Utica Community Center, Muscular Dystrophy Association, and The Root Farm. For more information about the program, visit

Make-A-Wish Central New York is a nonprofit organization dedicated to granting the special wishes of children, between the ages of 2½ and 18, who have life-threatening medical conditions. In granting these wishes, Make-A-Wish strives to provide the child and family with a bit of respite and extra-special memories of joy and laughter. Since its inception in 1985, the chapter has granted more than 1,600 wishes throughout its 15-county region. For more information about Make-A-Wish Central New York, visit the organization’s website at or call (315) 475-WISH.


Photo Captions:
1. Wish Kid Alex poses at his wish-reveal party with a baseball bat from his favorite team.
2. Alex, center, wears a t-shirt reading ‘I’m Alex McLaughlin’ and is surrounded by the rest of ‘Team Alex’ at Boilermaker 2014.

Press Contact

Dyana Smolen
PR / Communications Manager
5005 Campuswood Drive
East Syracuse, NY  13057

Phone : (315) 475-9474
Fax : (315) 475-9476

Make-A-Wish® Central New York
5005 Campuswood Drive
East Syracuse, NY 13057
(315) 475-9474
Toll Free (800) 846-9474