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Children facing life-threatening illnesses light up Freedom Hill with smiles

The Rainbow Connection serves hope, joy at annual picnic
Posted at 5:02 AM, Jun 29, 2024

(WXYZ) — Organizations across Michigan partnered with Rochester-based nonprofit The Rainbow Connection for a picnic filled with magical moments at Freedom Hill.

Capturing memories at Wish Family Picnic
Capturing memories at Wish Family Picnic
Sterling Heights Firefighters Local 1557
Sterling Heights Firefighters Local 1557

It's a longtime tradition of The Rainbow Connection, which has served as a beacon of hope for children facing life-threatening illnesses since 1985. Fast forward to 2024, and the nonprofit's mission is stronger than ever.

More than 100 Wish Families created countless memories at this year's picnic. Executive Director Ingrid Todt says the fun featured: “inflatables, motorcycle sidecar rides, a petting zoo, face painting, a photo booth, crafts, games, prizes and so much more!”

Tina's Party Ponies and Petting Zoo, LLC.
Tina's Party Ponies and Petting Zoo, LLC.

The success of the event was captured in mile wide smiles.

The picnic is one of many events and initiatives that anchor The Rainbow Connection's top goal: turning dreams into reality for Michigan kids who deserve the very best.

The Dream Makers Ball, upcoming Dobson Golf Outing and a scholarship program are also on the difference-making list.

2024 scholarship recipients were recently honored during a breakfast ceremony and program at Dearborn Country Club. Former Wish Kids had a chance to celebrate together before heading different directions for higher education.

2024 Rainbow Connection Scholarship Recipients
2024 Rainbow Connection Scholarship Recipients
Former Wish Kids prepare for next chapter
Former Wish Kids prepare for next chapter
Board Member Dave LewAllen presents awards
Board Member Dave LewAllen presents awards

That success transfers to the Wish Department where The Rainbow Connection has granted more than 4,200 wishes since its inception. That includes family trips to Disney World, shopping sprees, and scheduled time with superstar athletes.

Of course, making dreams come true for children with life-threatening illnesses starts with community support. You can make a donation or find other ways to join the mission anytime.

The Rainbow Connection is thanking families, friends, and organizations who helped make its 29th annual picnic a delight.

•Sterling Heights Firefighters Local 1557
•A Kid Again - Michigan Chapter
•The Bottomless Toy Chest
•Camp Casey
•Gilda's Club Metro Detroit
•Kids Kicking Cancer
•New Day Foundation for Families
•The Jenna Kast Believe In Miracles Foundation
•Special Days Camps
•Crowns Against Cancer
•Hawkman Entertainment
•Freestyle Face Painting
•All Around Bounce Party Rentals
•AAA Ice Cream Carts
•Tina's Party Ponies and Petting Zoo, LLC.
•Wolverine Harley-Davidson
•Go Team Therapy Dogs
•Clinton Township Parks and Recreation
•Premier Event Management