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Chi Omega grants wish to 8-year-old boy

Armando Sanchez (center) gets some help with his new electronic tricycle from his brother Jose (left) and his father Victor.
Armando Sanchez (center) gets some help with his new electronic tricycle from his brother Jose (left) and his father Victor.

JACKSON, Tenn.Oct. 17, 2007 – Armando Sanchez, 8, only wanted to be able to play with the other kids in his neighborhood.

That’s not an easy thing to do, as Armando has a muscle disease that makes walking difficult. Riding a bike is out of the question.

But thanks to the combined efforts of the Union University Chi Omega chapter and the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Armando now has the means to be mobile. On Oct. 12, the women from Chi Omega granted Armando’s wish and presented him with an electronic tricycle, among other gifts.

Total cost for the project was about $5,000.

“Make-A-Wish is our national philanthropy, so Chi Omega chapters all around the country work with Make-A-Wish,” said Claire Yates, Chi Omega’s director of community service. “It’s exciting. It’s a lot of hard work, but then when you see the kids, it’s completely worth it.”

The Union Chi Omega chapter raised money for the project through a 5K race and a barbecue. They threw a beach-themed party for Armando at the sand volleyball court of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon house, with Armando’s whole family in attendance. He and his parents, Victor and Maria Sanchez, live in Medina.

After playing a few games, the Chi Omega women presented Armando with his new electronic tricycle. When he first saw it, he covered his face and cried.

“He wanted something to play with the other kids in the neighborhood,” said Tawnette Baker, wish coordinator for the Make-A-Wish Foundation in Memphis. “All the other kids have bikes and he didn’t have one and he couldn’t ride one because he can’t make his feet pedal. It’ll be phenomenal for him.”

Armando quickly recovered from his initial shock and took his new gift for a test drive.

“They made him happy, because this is something he really needs,” Armando’s father Victor said. “His dream came true with this, really.”

Media contact: Tim Ellsworth, news@uu.edu, 731-661-5215

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