Believe it or not, blue icebergs and swimming salmon were abundant in downtown San Diego last Friday for a very special occasion.
Earlier in the year, an energetic 11-year-old named Thor told the Make-a-Wish Foundation that his wish was to go on an Alaskan fishing trip with his family. His strength and charisma captivated everyone at Underground Elephant, so we were honored to partner with Make-a-Wish to make his dream trip a reality. Our CEO, Jason Kulpa, summed it up best in an article for Fox News, “Thor’s bravery inspired us to be better, and we repaid his gift to us, by making his wish come true.”
In the lead-up to Thor’s send off party, the Underground Elephant team made handcrafted cards for Thor, wishing him good luck fishing and sharing our appreciation for stopping by the office. Felt like going back to grade school with all of the scissors, colored paper, glue, and markers. Good times!
Fridays are always a great day in the office, but the team’s energy was particularly high on May 30th. For most of us, it was our first chance to meet Thor and his family. He arrived to cheers from the team with a few of us in full fishing gear to greet him in style.
We sent Thor out on a mock around-the-office fishing trip in a make shift boat-cart where he made stops at glacier-like cubicles, nets loaded with fish, and maps of Alaska. Thor needed what every fisherman needs: solid gear. We set him up with the tools of the trade including a full tackle box, hat, vest, fishing pole, and more.
All the adventure and laughs worked up an appetite. Thor’s favorite food is BBQ, so we had Bubba’s Smoke House BBQ bring in a feast for Thor, his family, and the Underground Elephant team. After lunch, we played a few rounds of shuffleboard. He and his brother, Reoh, showed some healthy competition.
Thor told us that “hearing about the fishing in Alaska is great and I’ve always wanted to go there, but I never had the chance until now because of you guys. I want to say thank you for this great opportunity to go.”
With 385 wishes expected in 2014, the Make-a-Wish will grant more than a wish per day. These wishes give hope, strength and joy to children with life-threatening medical conditions, such as youth like Thor and Reoh, who were both diagnosed with cystic fibrosis.
Thanks to Thor; his dad, John; his mom, Kelly; his brother, Reoh; and his sister, Jade! Also, none of this would have been possible without the dedication of two invaluable members of the Underground Elephant team, Stacy Mendes and Nicole Pare.