Return to mobile version

Make-A-Wish Greater Los Angeles Among Participating Charities For Los Angeles Marathon on March 19th


January 03, 2017

Local Chapter Forms “Team Make-A-Wish”; Invites Community to Share the Power of a Wish®

LOS ANGELES, CA January 3, 2017 – Make-A-Wish Greater Los Angeles has been named among the participating charities in the Los Angeles Marathon on March 19th, it was announced today by Neal Aton, President and CEO of the chapter. This is the first time Make-A-Wish Greater Los Angeles is included as a beneficiary in this prestigious event, and the first time the chapter will enter a team. Team Make-A-Wish is open to members of the community and also marks a new level of community engagement for the chapter, which grants over 350 wishes a year to local children with life-threatening medical conditions.

“Make-A-Wish and the Los Angeles Marathon are a natural fit,” said Aton. “We share a mutual dedication to creating transformative experiences that improve lives and connect communities. The Make-A-Wish mission of bringing hope, strength and joy to children when they are struggling is mirrored in the Marathon’s values of hard work, positive attitude, passion and resilience. What an inspiring way for each of us to tap into our personal strengths, renew our belief that anything is possible, and share the power of a wish. Come on out and join us!”

Make-A-Wish Greater Los Angeles is unique among the participating charities in that it offers its Team Make-A-Wish members a variety of activities and opportunities to enhance their Marathon experience and individual fundraising efforts. A major highlight is that team members will have access to two professional coaches, Steve Gera and Monica Zaragoza.

Coach Gera is a former U.S. Marine Corps officer who has coached and scouted in the NFL, including serving as assistant coach of the San Diego Chargers, and has advised at the league level in the NBA, Premier League and Major League Soccer. Gera will provide individual training, a Marathon planning seminar 100 days before the event, and optional fun runs. Coach Zaragoza is a life-long marathon runner and fundraiser, who has worked with hundreds of runners and walkers. She is certified through the Road Runners Club of America. Zaragoza will provide a complete training schedule and weekly in-person Saturday morning runs. 

Additional Team Make-A-Wish benefits include: a personalized fundraising page to track progress and share with friends and family; Make-A-Wish swag; Team Make-A-Wish singlet for race day; pasta dinner night before the Marathon; and support from a Make-A-Wish staff member to help reach individual fundraising goals.

Said Aton, “This extraordinary community event is a win-win for Team Make-A-Wish members. In addition to the thrill of the challenge, they will have the additional satisfaction of knowing their fundraising efforts go directly toward helping grant the wishes of kids in our community.”

  • Deadline for registering for Team Make-A-Wish: January 23rd, 2017
  • Individual fundraising commitment: $1,000
  • For information and registration, visit:  

About Make-A-Wish Greater Los Angeles

Founded in 1983 and now in its 34th year, Make-A-Wish Greater Los Angeles has granted more than 9,300 wishes to children living in the communities throughout Los Angeles County. Annually in Los Angeles, the chapter grants about 350 wishes locally, and there are nearly twice as many more eligible children waiting their turn.  

Make-A-Wish Greater Los Angeles is part of a national organization that grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. Make-A-Wish is one of the world's leading children's charities, serving children in every community in the United States and its territories. With the help of generous donors and more than 28,000 volunteers, Make-A-Wish grants a wish somewhere in the country every 35 minutes. It has granted more than 270,000 wishes in the U.S. since its inception in 1980.

Visit Make-A-Wish Greater Los Angeles at


Media Contact:

Iris Gelt-Warner                                             

(310) 788-9474 x115

Team Make-A-Wish Contact:

Taylor Kalman

(310) 788-9474 x105    

Press Contact

Jaya Vadlamudi
Director, Communications & Partnerships
11390 W. Olympic Blvd. Suite 300
Los Angeles, CA  90064

Phone : (310) 788-9474 x2033
Fax : (310) 785-9474

You might also be interested in ...

Make-A-Wish® Greater Los Angeles
11390 W. Olympic Blvd.
Suite 300
Los Angeles, CA 90064
(310) 788-9474
Toll Free Los Angeles Only (800) 322-9474