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Student grants two wishes and sets goal for another

ATHENS — Make-A-Wish Maine has awarded Athens resident and Madison High School  sophomore Lanie Howes, 15, with their Brendan Batson Award. This annual award is bestowed upon a young person who gives their time and energy to Make-A-Wish.

Through bottle drives, bake sales, auctions, 50/50 raffles, selling stars and more, Howes has raised over $12,000, which is enough to grant two wishes to Maine children facing life-threatening medical conditions (each wish costs an average of $6,000).

“It’s really great to help kids who are not having a normal childhood right now,” said Howes. “Wishes are amazing experiences for them and I’m hopeful that we can get more so more kids can have their wishes.”

Howes’ friends and family, including her littler brother Gabriel have helped raise funds and awareness from her surrounding community. Little did she know at the time that part of the money she gathered would go to a child in nearby Harmony.

Aliza Stutzman, 13, of Harmony recently lost her battle with astroblastoma and her wish was to have a room makeover, which was granted prior to her passing, using funds donated by Howes. Not only did Howes provide funds but she also made a quilt that was a beautiful addition to Stuztman’s wish and something her family can keep for years.

“Lanie is truly one of the most amazing and caring teenagers that we at Make-A-Wish Maine have ever had the privilege of working with,” said Eileen Chretien, volunteer director at Make-A-Wish Maine. “She’s changing her world and ours with her generosity and caring. She is an inspiration to all of us.”

Howes is well on her way to granting a third wish and has raised over $1,000 for this effort.

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