Make-a-Wish Northeast New York kicked off its annual Adopt-a-Wish holiday campaign to benefit children battling critical illnesses.

This marks the 30th year of the effort, and Make-a-Wish Northeast New York has been granting life changing wishes for 35 years now.

“It not only raises critical funds for us to grant life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses, but it also raises awareness and referrals, that’s new children coming in so we can grant them wishes,” said Mark McGuire, Director of Communications for Make-a-Wish Northeast New York.

This year, there are two North Country wish ambassadors.

First, is 12-year old Karson, who wished for a game room makeover.

“I chose the gaming setup because I always enjoyed playing video games with my friends, and I used to play video games a lot when I was a kid on the Wii,” Karson said. “I have two monitors, a keyboard and mouse, and a really nice computer.”

If you see a Make-a-Wish poster at the Champlain Centre mall or other select business around the area, you can scan the QR on the sign to donate, or go to

Lauren Gundrum is 6-year-old Eloise’s mom, who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia at just 17 months old. But now, this “ambassador” is in remission and is 3 years off treatment; and in September, Eloise’s wish of going to Disney World was finally granted.

“It was really good having family time, we both work different schedules, so we’re never really all together as a family so just being able to spend time together was nice,” Gundrum said.

As the campaign kicks off, they have a suggested donation of just $5, and the organization hopes to raise about $210,000 during this year’s campaign, which runs from now until Christmas Eve.