Monroe Make-A-Wish

Scott Jacobs
Macy's at Freehold Raceway Mall hosted another year of Make-A-Wish's Holiday Campaign as Wish kids participated in a mini-press conference inside Make-A- Wish New Jersey President and CEO Tom Weatherall welcomes the kids.

The 10th annual Macy’s Believe campaign is in full swing and some area police officers were in on the launch.

From the beginning of November through Dec. 24, “Believers” of all ages can mail a letter to Santa Claus at the big red letterbox at any Macy’s store or online at

For every holiday letter written and dropped at a Macy’s Believe Mailbox, Macy’s donates $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million to help grant the wishes of children with critical illnesses.

The campaign launched with a celebration at the Samuel and Josephine Plumeri Wishing Place castle in Monroe Township on Nov. 3 with holiday treats from Carlo’s Bakery, caroling by The Village Carolers of Medford, and holiday letter-writing with more than a dozen police officers from Monroe Township, Manalapan and Edison, as well as members of the Blue Knights Group IX and XV.

From the castle, the celebration continued with a police-escorted limousine ride and motorcade for the wish kids to Macy’s at the Freehold Raceway Mall to a crowd of well-wishers.

Macy’s Store Manager Christine Lagravenis and Make-A-Wish New Jersey President and CEO Tom Weatherall greeted the crowd with remarks on the 10-year anniversary of the campaign, followed by a press conference with each of the featured wish children, who shared their wish experiences and the impact it had on their lives.

Each wish child delivered their holiday letters to the Believe Mailbox, officially declaring the beginning of the 2017 Believe Campaign.

“We couldn’t imagine the overwhelming response the Believe campaign would inspire when we introduced it 10 years ago,” said Holly Thomas, group vice president of Cause Marketing for Macy’s. “We have collected millions of letters throughout the years, each one representing an individual who was moved by the message of hope, love and generosity. The result has been the creation of a holiday tradition for families across the country, and ultimately, wish fulfillments that deliver joy and hope to the most amazing children. Macy’s is incredibly proud to play a part in that magic.”

Weatherall said with the Make-a-Wish Foundation in its fourth decade in New Jersey, they have long known that a wish experience can transform the life of a child with a critical illness.

“Our friends at Macy’s have shown us that they, too, believe in the power of a wish,” he said. “Their annual support through the Macy’s Believe Campaign, now in its 10th year and having donated over $15 million, helps us take significant steps closer to our vision of finding every eligible child and granting his or her one true wish.”

Since 1983, the New Jersey Chapter has granted more than 9,500 wishes to children throughout the Garden State.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation began in honor of the legacy of a young boy named Chris from Phoenix, Arizona, who in 1980, wished to be a police officer.

Chris’ wish sparked the global phenomenon of Make-A-Wish that has now, nationwide, turned over 300,000 children’s wishes into realities.

This year, the New Jersey chapter has granted 515 wishes so far.

For more information about Make-a-Wish New Jersey visit For more information about the 10th annual Macy’s Believe campaign visit a Macy’s store or online at