LISLE, Ill., April 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- When asked what he wanted as his wish, Josh, a 10-year-old boy from Blue Springs, Mo. with Cerebral Palsy, didn't hold back. Josh hoped for a sensory playhouse, and Kretschmar® Premium Deli Meats and Cheeses teamed with Price Chopper Food Stores, and Make-A-Wish® Missouri to make his wish a reality. The organizations surprised Josh Thursday afternoon with a new playhouse for his backyard. The endeavor was done as part of a relationship that Make-A-Wish® and Kretschmar established last summer to fulfill three wishes for children with life-threatening illnesses.
Josh is legally blind and wanted a playhouse filled with items that he could experience and enjoy with limited vision. Make-A-Wish Missouri exercised tremendous creativity and imagination to develop a structure that incorporated his ideas. They outfitted a Tuff Shed building with textured walls, a gigantic keyboard and several other components to spark his imagination. All items requiring power use solar or battery technology and don't require electricity for operation.
"Obviously this is a very special campaign for Kretschmar," said Chuck Gitkin, VP, Marketing, Innovation and R&D, John Morrell Food Group. "We've taken great pride in partnering with Make-A-Wish. It's been overwhelming and enjoyable to see the support from our retailers and the local community to make these wishes come true."
Kretschmar established a national association with Make-A-Wish last year. It donated over $100,000 to Make-A-Wish and is helping grant three specific wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses, including Josh's, in 2013. It is part of a campaign called "Legendary Wishes." Additional funding was raised at the local level with help from Price Chopper. Price Chopper sold paper stars at its stores' cash registers during the month of April for $1 each, with proceeds going to Make-A-Wish. Its sales generated $20,000. Price Chopper also named a hero sandwich combo on its deli menu in Josh's honor and $2.99 of each hero sandwich combo from April 1 – April 30, 2013 went to Make-A-Wish Missouri. Enough support was raised from the combo sales to enhance Josh's playhouse with climbing handholds, sensory stepping stones, and a large sensory pillow.
"Helping grant Josh's wish has been extremely rewarding for Kretschmar," said Michael Sargent, brand manager for Kretschmar. "All of the hard work that we have put forth with Price Chopper and Make-A-Wish Missouri was worth it to see the smile on his face when we gave him his playhouse. We appreciate everyone's efforts this month and hope we can continue this association for years to come."
Josh's playhouse was unveiled with dozens of his family members, friends and medical assistants on hand to celebrate the new addition to his backyard. Price Chopper supplied food and beverages for the event. The retailer also gave him oversized cards that had well-wishes from its stores' employees that were collected throughout April.
"A wish experience provides the children we serve hope, strength and joy at a time when they need it the most," said LuAnn Bott, President and CEO of Make-A-Wish® Missouri. "Josh's wish for a sensory playhouse will allow him the opportunity to increase his sensory awareness in a fun and active environment for years to come. We're thankful for our national alliance with Kretschmar to not only make wishes come true across the country, but especially here in the KC area."
About John Morrell Food Group With over a century and a half of experience, John Morrell Food Group brands have become respected and well known for providing premium-quality meat products to families across the United States. With products ranging from lunchmeat and franks to smoked sausage, bacon and pepperoni, the John Morrell Food Group is an important part of consumers' mealtimes. The John Morrell Food Group offers several national and regional brands including Armour®, Eckrich®, John Morrell®, Curly's®, Patrick Cudahy®, Carando®, Healthy Ones®, Margherita®, Kretschmar® and LunchMakers®.
About Smithfield Foods Smithfield Foods is a $13 billion global food company and the world's largest pork processor and hog producer. In the United States, the company is also the leader in numerous packaged meats categories with popular brands including Smithfield®, Eckrich®, Farmland®, Armour®, Cook's®, Gwaltney®, John Morrell®, Kretschmar®, Curly's®, Carando®, Margherita®, and Healthy Ones®. Smithfield Foods is committed to providing good food in a responsible way and maintains robust animal care, community involvement, employee safety, environmental, and food safety and quality programs. For more information, visit www.smithfieldfoods.com and www.smithfieldcommitments.com.
About Kretschmar Kretschmar Premium Deli Meats & Cheeses has meant quality since 1883. Our hams are made with a unique hardwood smoking process. Kretschmar poultry and beef are hand-trimmed using the finest cuts. Our full line of Off-The-Bone deli meats are delicately sliced from the leanest, most tender cuts. And our premium Wisconsin cheeses repeatedly win in competitions world-wide. Try the Legendary Taste of Kretschmar today.
About Price Chopper Ball, Bresette, Cosentino, McKeever and Queen are more than just words that appear on Price Chopper signs throughout the Kansas City Metro. They are the names of the families that own and operate Kansas City's 49 Price Chopper stores. Families with strong roots that have raised generation after generation here at home. Families that are fully committed to giving something back to their communities. They do it every day, and offer customers many ways to help.
About Make-A-Wish Make-A-Wish grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. According to a 2011 U.S. study of wish impact, most health professionals surveyed believe a wish-come-true has positive impacts on the health of children. Kids say wishes give them renewed strength to fight their illness, and their parents say these experiences help strengthen the entire family. Based in Phoenix, Make-A-Wish is one of the world's leading children's charities, serving children in every community in the United States and its territories. With the help of generous donors and more than 25,000 volunteers, Make-A-Wish grants a wish somewhere in the country every 38 minutes. It has granted more than 225,000 wishes since its inception in 1980; nearly 14,000 in 2011 alone. Visit Make-A-Wish at www.wish.org to learn more.