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Zack's Make A Move for Make-A-Wish

Wish kid Zack, who was granted his wish for a T-rex dinosaur back in 2005 when he was battling rhabdomyosarcoma, wanted to create an event to help other kids experience the same magic and joy he felt in being granted a wish.  So he came up with Make A Move for Make-A-Wish, an annual five-mile biking, walking and running event held at Pittsburgh's North Park.  In its three years, the event has raised more than $100,000 to make other kids' wishes come true.


Wish kid Zack raised $54,729.02 during his 3rd Annual Make A Move for Make-A-Wish 5-mile walk, run and bike race event on Sunday, July 27, 2014, at the North Park Boathouse outside of Pittsburgh. The event included a race, which was timed via a bib by Miles for Smiles Timing Services, music provided by DJ Bryan Brunsell, a Chinese auction and an appearance by the Pirate Parrot.
  • Food and drinks provided by Generoasta Coffee, Panera Bread and Dudt's Bakery

  • Volunteer Carolyn Linsley with Development Coordinator Andrea Ballas

  • Stella and walkers

  • Brittany Youngman with Director of Development Stephanie Pugliese and Receptionist Jan Haddad

  • Participants line up for the beginning of the race

  • Zack and bikers get ready to ride

  • Runners

  • Stella high fives walkers

  • Crossing the finish line

  • DJ Bryan Brunsell

  • Title sponsors

  • Face painting

  • Chinese auction

  • Mike, Communications Coordinator Christina Praskovich and Zack

  • Chinese auction winner receives basket from Pirate Parrot

  • Medal winner with Pirates Parrot

  • Zack with Make-A-Wish donor Paul Jones

  • Zack reveals total with Development Coordinator Andrea Ballas and mom

  • Title Sponsor Hefren-Tillotson representative and family

  • Zack with President and CEO Judi Stone


Wish kid Zack hoped to raise $25,000 with his second annual Make A Move for Make-A-Wish event, which was held on Sunday, July 28, 2013, at North Park.  He surpassed his goal again, raising more than $38,000!  Nearly 300 people came to support Zack and Make-A-Wish, walking, running and biking the 5-mile trail around the North Park lake.  The event also included face painting, a Chinese auction, food and refreshments and a race between Make-A-Wish mascot Stella! and the Pittsburgh Pirates pierogies!

  • Family poses for a photo

  • Zack poses for a photo with Stella and some kids

  • Volunteers

  • DJ Bryan Brunsell

  • Zack interviewed by WPXI

  • Starting line

  • Zack leads the way

  • Mascot Stella! joins the walkers

  • Stella! high fives the walkers

  • Walkers

  • Biker

  • Jogger with dog

  • Wish with Sauerkraut Saul

  • Kids dancing with Stella

  • Zack, walkers and the Pittsburgh Pirates Mrs. T's perogies

  • Kids with Jalapeno Hannah

  • Jones family

  • Zack announcing Chinese auction winners

  • Zack and his mom present donation to Manager of Special Events Stephanie Pugliese

  • Zack announces a grand total of more than $38,000!


Zack's 1st Annual Make A Move for Make-A-Wish, a 5-mile bike ride, run and walk, was held on Sunday, August 19, 2012, at North Park Boathouse. His goal was originally $3,900 - the average cost of one wish. He more than surpassed it, raising an AMAZING grand total of $23,477!

  • Zack and his mom join Stella! at the event

  • Registration

  • Zack leads the way

  • Stella waves and gives high fives to the walkers

  • Peck family

  • Group shot

  • Penguins mascot Iceburgh with a young Make-A-Wish supporter

  • Biking for wishes

  • And they're off!

  • Chinese auction

  • Young biker

  • Stella! with a group of walkers

  • Zack, Iceburgh and Stella!

  • Zack smiling

  • Zack thanks all for coming and supporting Make-A-Wish

  • Zack in disbelief at how much his event raised for Make-A-Wish

  • Zack and his mom surprise Development Coordinator Brittany Youngman with a check

  • Zack presents the proceeds from the event to Development Coordinator Brittany Youngman

Make-A-Wish® Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia, Inc.
The Gulf Tower
707 Grant Street, 37th Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15219-1938
(412) 471-9474
Toll Free (800) 676-9474
Make-A-Wish® Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia, Southern West Virginia Office
888 Oakwood Rd
Oakwood Center, Suite 330
Charleston, WV 25314
(304) 342-9474
Toll Free (800) 664-9474
Make-A-Wish® Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia, Northern West Virginia Office
913 Canyon Road
Morgantown, WV 26508
(304) 292-5600
Toll Free (888) 808-9474