July 24, 2014
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Six Purdue student-athletes from five different sports are the founders of a new foundation called Boiler-Maker-Wish. The Boilermakers participating in this initiative are Charles Torwudzo (football), Carly Mercer and Julia Comodeca (women's swimming), Courtney Moses (women's basketball), Autumn Beachy (women's cross country/track and field) and Lindsey Rains (softball). All of these athletes are also a part of Purdue's chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
The purpose of the Boiler-Maker-Wish is to help enrich the lives of kids with moderate to severe physical disabilities or life-threatening illnesses. The Boiler-Maker-Wish mission statement is "to makes children's wishes become a reality in hopes of enriching, empowering, and putting a smile on a child's face as well as their family." The core values are simple: imagine, joy, communication and passion.
Mercer, a recent graduate from Fishers, Ind., who plans on entering the medical field, was the first to think of the idea and quickly recruited the five others. The founders enjoy giving back to the Purdue community and since many of them know someone affected by a disability or illness, this was a perfect way to do so.
"Each person involved in the wish is influenced," said Moses, a recent graduate from Sweetser, Ind., who majored in human services. "Those include the child getting his or wish granted, the parents and family of the child, the team working with the child, and the Boiler-Maker-Wish leaders."
The foundation is trying to grant all wishes that take place inside the Purdue athletics family.
Boiler-Maker-Wish has completed eight events to date. The first was July 16, 2013, when Alex Grady, a 17-year-old from Lafayette who has cerebral palsy, had his wish granted when he met former Purdue basketball player D.J. Byrd. The group has granted wishes in five different sports. Three have come with the women's basketball team; two have been with the men's basketball team; and one from each football, swimming and track and field.