Girl’s wish comes true: Have camper, will travel – Hudson Valley 360

Girl’s wish comes true: Have camper, will travel – Hudson Valley 360

COXSACKIE — The dreams of a 6-year-old Catskill girl came true in the nick of time for the holidays as Make-A-Wish and Diederich’s RV Mart joined forces to donate a camper to Amelia Manetta.

The girl, who is undergoing treatment for cancer, had a dream to travel around the country with her family in a camper, a desire that Make-A-Wish and the Coxsackie RV dealer made a reality Thursday afternoon.

Joined by her younger sister Hayden and Kimber, Amelia received the surprise of a lifetime when she was brought onto the RV lot and told a brand-new 2022 Sportsmen 260BHSE trailer had been gifted by the store to her family.

The girl beamed and said she couldn’t wait to take her first trip in the camper with her family.

“While she’s still in treatment we have to stay local, but we want to go to Georgia and just take this wherever we can make memories,” her mother Casie Manetta said. “Wherever she wants to go, we’re going.”

Local residents and businesses also donated a host of additional gifts to outfit the camper, including camping supplies, fishing poles, towels and pots and pans for the Manettas to use on their upcoming trips. The supplies are valued at more than $2,500.

“It’s amazing,” Casie Manetta said. “We’re so happy. We weren’t expecting all of this. Now we don’t have to get anything.”

Make-A-Wish Northeast New York Chief Operating Officer Robert Bullock credited the Coxsackie RV store for its generous camper donation.

“We couldn’t have done this without Diederich’s,” Bullock said. “We grant about 100 wishes per year under normal circumstances, but of course the pandemic has really impacted that.”

Bullock said the nonprofit organization has three types of wishes — wishes for specific items, requests for trips or wishes to meet a particular celebrity. Bullock said that with restrictions on travel and celebrities skittish about in-person meetings during the pandemic that wishes for items like campers or swimming pools took on more importance for the organization during the COVID crisis.

“Because we haven’t been able to travel kids to Disney World and other places, while it’s starting to open up now, this has given us the opportunity to really grant these wishes to kids that really wanted them,” he said. “Every wish has a budget and we would not have ordinarily been able to provide something this big had it not been for Diederich’s. They heard about the wish and they wanted to make it happen. They came in with an incredible in-kind contribution so this could be given to Amelia. It’s fantastic.”

The organization’s volunteer wish granters Kathy Ventura and Allison Smith began working on the process two months ago, which Bullock said was an unusually short turnaround for the group to grant a wish.

“We have a child who has a life-threatening illness and she qualified for a wish,” Ventura said. “Allison and I did this virtually because of COVID. So we had a Zoom meeting with the family and we found out her true wish was for a camper. Trailers are hard to come by these days but …….


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