AUBURN, Maine — New England-based VIP Tires & Service raised $97,306 for Make-A-Wish during its annual holiday Season of Wishes charitable campaign.
According to VIP, the funds will be used to grant wishes to chronically ill children. The average cost of a wish is $7,000. Wishes range from trips to theme parks, meeting a favorite athlete or celebrity, attending a major sporting event or concert, receiving a computer, tree house or shopping spree.
VIP's contribution will grant the wishes of almost 13 children.
Since 2007, VIP has collected more than $582,100 for Make-A-Wish through its fundraising.
Funds are raised through individual donations made by VIP employees and customers, then matched 100% by John Quick, chairman of VIP.
In 2019, the company's 59 stores in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts raised $48,653, and Mr. Quick matched it. That amount was 20% higher than 2018.VIP presented a check to Make-A-Wish on Jan. 22 at the company's Auburn headquarters.
"Many say that the measure of an organization is not by its sales or profits, but by how many people it helps. I happen to agree," Tim Winkeler, president and CEO of VIP Tires, said. "By that measure,(VIP) can take pride and humility in how our collective efforts this year, along with John Quirk's continued generosity, well help so many young children facing life-threatening medical conditions achieve their dreams.
"I would like to extend a huge thank you to the generous employees and customers for making this Make-A-Wish donation possible."
The breakdown of donations raised by VIP stores is: Maine, $34,650; New Hampshire, $11,380; Massachusetts, $2,196 ; and Vermont, $427.
"We are once again so incredibly grateful for the difference VIP is making for our kids and the continued partnership. This is truly so impressive and impactful," Kate Vickery, executive director of Make-A-Wish Maine, said.
"Make-A-Wish wants to extend a huge thank you to all VIP employees and customers for their commitment to supporting our mission. We look forward to sharing the inspirational stories from families made possible with this annual donation."