By Matthew Rodriguez

Pasadena Weekly Deputy Editor

To commemorate World Wish Day, Etco Homes started its Wishing Tree project pledging to donate the proceeds to the LA chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

“It’s really meant to be a place where residents and locals of Pasadena, as well as visitors, are able to express their hopes and dreams for the year ahead while giving back to the community and, most importantly, the Make-A-Wish Foundation,” said Bree Long, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Etco Homes.

Any passersby can leave their wish on a tag and place it on the magnolia tree right off of Green Street in Old Town Pasadena. As well as coordinating with local businesses for donations, Etco Homes will donate $1 for each tag on the tree leading up to World Wish Day on April 29.

World Wish Day is the anniversary of the first wish granted by the nonprofit. On April 29, 1980, Make-A-Wish made the dream of becoming a police officer true for Christopher James Greicius, a 7-year-old battling leukemia.

“It’s going to be our 41st anniversary of the first wish ever granted,” said Mike Kallhoff, CEO of the LA chapter of Make-A-Wish. “(Every dollar) is going to help us grant more wishes.”

Kallhoff first found Make-A-Wish 14 years ago while his daughter battled cancer.

“It really brought us together during a really rough time,” he said. “For me, it was how do we give back so that other families could experience what we experienced. (It) helped us get through what was bluntly the hardest part of our lives.”

Mayor Victor Gordo also attended the event placing his own wish of “health, hope and happiness” for everyone searching for it.

“We’ve been through so much in Pasadena, the state, the country and even the world,” said Gordo. “This is a moment for all of us to take a step back and create a little bit of hope for children in need.”

Gordo felt it was important for the community to know that no matter what challenges lie ahead, everything will be alright.

“We’ve all been through a lot. There may be more to come, but there are always people who are worse off than we are, and we should take a moment to reflect upon that,” he said. “Things will get better for all of us, including for those children.”