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Wishmakers plan 3-on-3 basketball tournament

Staff Writer

Published: Thursday, March 14, 2013

Updated: Thursday, March 14, 2013 12:03

University of Northern Iowa students and community members will have an opportunity to shoot hoops and help grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.  
Swishes for Wishes is the upcoming event for the student organization Northern Iowa Wishmakers. It is a three-on-three basketball tournament starting at noon April 20 in the upper gyms of the Wellness and Recreation Center.

Teams of four people, including an alternate, may register to compete in the Swishes for Wishes tournament. The cost is $60 per team if registered before March 26 or $80 per team for later registration. Teams can register prior to the day of the event online at or on the day of the event beginning at 11 a.m.

The event is open to the public and has been promoted in local elementary, middle and high schools, as well as throughout the community. There will be age brackets to make the playing field more fair. Food and beverages will be provided at the event and each team member will receive a free t-shirt.   
Swishes for Wishes raised nearly $7,000 last year and all of this year’s proceeds will go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Iowa, which grants wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions.

Northern Iowa Wishmakers was the first on-campus student organization in Iowa dedicated to raising funds for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Iowa. Iowa State University has shown an interest in following in the footsteps of UNI by beginning to organize events similar to Flippin’ for Wishes, according to Erica Canfield, NIW president.

Canfield also said the organization is in its third year at UNI. The number of members has doubled since its first year and NIW continues to grow.

Swishes-for-Wishes is not the only event NIW has organized in order to raise money for granting the wish of an ailing child.

Throughout the 2012-13 school year, NIW has put on three different events and has thus far raised more than $10,000 through Fall into Wishes, Wishing for Change and Flippin’ for Wishes.

Sawyer Kilen, NIW’s co-executive of advertising, said that during the Fall into Wishes event this past fall, volunteers raked leaves for local residents and raised about $300 in donations.

Wishing for Change in November put three wishing wells around campus, where students could toss in money and “wish away the pain that children are dealing with,” Canfield said. The event was intended to promote the organization and it raised more than $150.

For the latest event, Flippin’ for Wishes in early December at the HuHot Mongolian Grill in Cedar Falls, the public was invited to a pancake breakfast. The event raised more than $2,400.

“We already surpassed our goal,” Canfield said about the total amount of money raised so far this year. “We are expecting at least $15,000 as an end goal for this year.”

Canfield, as a first-year president, wanted to make a few changes in the organization.

“This year we want more of a hands-on wish,” Canfield said.

While details on the child’s wish to be granted have not yet been released, NIW has planned an April 29 event to meet with the family.   
The event, which is open to the public, will take place on top of Maucker Union and will include a “wishes balloon” release. The family will discuss their wish and how the Make-A-Wish Foundation has affected their lives.

Anyone interested in getting involved with NIW may attend meetings at 9 p.m. on Tuesdays in the Elm Room of Maucker Union. For more information, contact Canfield at


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