On June 26, 2020, Ethan arrived in the parking lot of RV Retailer's Sonny’s Camp-N-Travel in Duncan, SC. Blindfolded, he patiently climbed out of the car to see what the big surprise was. When his mother removed his blindfold, Ethan was indeed met with a big surprise. It was his wish – a brand new camper!
As much as Ethan loves to camp, his life-threatening nervous system disorder often prevents him and his family from going on trips. His medical needs simply can’t be met with typical camping equipment. When Make-A-Wish came to Ethan, he said he wanted to find a way to experience his favorite hobby alongside his family. Ethan’s wish to have a camper began.
Ethan’s new camper will help provide him safe spaces where he can hold onto items as he walks, privacy for medical needs and electricity and refrigeration for any medical supplies. All while giving him the freedom to experience adventures with his family.
RV Retailer generously worked with Make-A-Wish South Carolina to supply the perfect sized camper to fit the needs and parameters for Ethan’s safety. The dealership also had fun outfitting the camper with special touches to make Ethan happy such as Elmo sheets and other treats.
"RV Retailer is thrilled to collaborate on this extraordinary journey with one of our 33 stores across America and Make-A-Wish South Carolina," said Jon Ferrando, Chief Executive Officer and President at RV Retailer. "When we learned 12-year-old Ethan wished to have a camper, our team was happy to oblige. We’re honored to support in instilling hope and creating lasting memories for Ethan and his family."
Ethan’s wish comes during a difficult period. With COVID-19, new health worries are present, bringing added isolation and vulnerability for wish kids and their families.
"Ethan’s wish will help him feel a newfound freedom and build confidence as he navigates his camper" said Amanda Osborne, VP of Mission Advancement for Make-A-Wish South Carolina. "Research shows that children who have wishes granted can build the physical and emotional strength they need to fight a critical illness. So now, more than ever hope is essential for wish kids. We are so happy that Ethan's wish could be granted despite the pandemic and thanks to the support of Make-A-Wish donors and volunteers."
When asked what Ethan looked forward to doing most on his first camping trip he answered, “Catch bugs!” He then asked his father when he could sleep in his new camper and his father told him that he could sleep in it that very night. Ethan’s smile was as bright as the stars.
Learn more about Make-A-Wish how you can get involved to help kids like Ethan by visiting sc.wish.org.
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Make-A-Wish® creates life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. We are on a quest to bring every eligible child's wish to life, because a wish is an integral part of a child's treatment journey. Research shows children who have wishes granted can build the physical and emotional strength they need to fight a critical illness. Together with a community of donors and volunteers, Make-A-Wish South Carolina granted 209 wishes last year. The chapter receives funding through private donations, individuals, companies and special events. For more information about Make-A-Wish South Carolina, visit sc.wish.org and discover ways you can help make wishes come true.
ABOUT RV RETAILER
RV Retailer, LLC is a leading recreational vehicle retail company in the United States with a focus on providing an outstanding experience for recreational vehicle customers in new and used sales, service and parts, and customer financial services. RV Retailer has 33 RV stores in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas with over $1 billion in annual revenue. Regional store brands include: RV One Superstores, Motor Home Specialist, ExploreUSA, Sonny's Camp-N-Travel and Tom's Camperland, which sell a wide range of new and used RV brands with thousands of RVs in inventory. RV Retailer's capital partner is Redwood Capital Investments. RV Retailer is led by co-founders Jon Ferrando, Chief Executive Officer and President, and John Rizzo, Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer. Jon Ferrando and John Rizzo were instrumental in building America's largest automotive retailer from start-up to over $20 billion in revenue. RV Retailer's leadership team has over 200 years of automotive and RV retail industry experience.
PHOTO CREDIT: Pixel Me This Photography