Magical Wishes for Kids
Local Couple’s Organization Brings Disney World to Hamilton County
Writer: Lynda Hedberg Thies
Photos provided by Magical Wishes for Kids
Some people are lucky enough to do what they love and create a meaningful life by pursuing their passion to make a difference in the world. Aaron and Kim Del Prince of Fishers are just that sort of lucky. The couple took their love for all things Disney World and turned it into a mission to help children with life-threatening illness and their families enjoy a free, week-long Disney vacation.
The Del Princes found their way organically by vacationing at Disney World regularly, connecting with friends who also share their love of Disney and inviting them to hang out and reminisce. In 2007, the couple invited a local group of friends that they had met in Orlando to share a meal and reminisce about their trips. The second year, word got out and that number reached 50 Disney-loving friends. Shortly after, Aaron was introduced to the work of Give Kids the World Village and became inspired to connect their love for Disney to their mission.
Give Kids the World Village became the housing partner for the Make-A-Wish Foundation more than 30 years ago and since that time they have provided housing for 150,000 families. Disney donates the park tickets and trinkets and they have many partners that donate the food for the Village. The Make-A-Wish requests for Disney account for approximately 56 percent of all their requests. So providing free housing is a huge undertaking because a week’s stay at the Village costs around $5,000 for a family for a week. But it is well documented how much these trips help the children and their families.
Aaron and Kim created Magical Wishes for Kids, a 501c3, Fishers-based charitable organization designed as a “pass-through” organization, which means they send 100 percent of their proceeds directly to Give Kids the World Village. Over the past 10 years, Magical Wishes for Kids has organized small events like movie nights and Dine to Donate. But their focus has primarily been on an annual fundraising event called, Indy Disney Meet.
Now in their 10th year hosting the event, they have watched it grow from a local event of 30 to a Midwest event of 1,100 Disney fans from around the country with the majority coming from Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, Kentucky and as far away as Florida. To date the group has raised more than $100,000 for Give Kids the World.
Over the past decade, Indy Disney Meet has grown exponentially along with the size of the event.
“It is sort of like planning a wedding every single year,” Aaron says. “It takes 7-9 months of planning by the 25-member volunteer planning committee.”
Aaron and Kim are also volunteers with other full-time responsibilities. This is 100 percent a labor of love for volunteers.
The 2018 Indy Disney Meet will be held on August 25 from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Hamilton County Fairgrounds.
“This free, super fun, Disney gathering is perfect for the whole family,” Aaron adds. “Enjoy games, dole whips, crafts, displays, presentations and more.
Other event highlights this year will include a Kids Hall with a full mini-golf course, Virtual Reality activities, Disney Princess Meet and Greet along with the 501st Legion bringing characters from a galaxy far, far away. Famous Disney Expert and Podcaster Lou Mongello, Roxy Darr, Singer from Los Angeles, that is the voice behind Disney inspired music, auction items with Disney Art from Imagineers and autographed collectibles by the original artists. Raffle items such as Disney Gift Cards will be included as well. The food is also donated by favorite restaurants like Chick-fil-A nuggets, Papa John’s pizza, Perkins mini-muffins and more.
So whether you have been a dozen times to The Happiest Place on Earth or you have never been, you can come to the Hamilton County Fairgrounds for a day of magic and fun for every age and an opportunity to bring joy, laughter and fun to the kids.
For event updates, information about making a donation, and sponsorship opportunities, follow Indy Disney Meet on Facebook: facebook.com/indydisneymeet and Twitter: @indydisneymeet and their website: mwfk.org/home.html.