Waukesha County Sheriff's deputy Charleen Schueller has co-chaired the silent auction during the Waukesha Deputy Association "Make A Wish" event for the last four or five years.
"Every year we do a presentation to the children who are the recipients and every year we all look at each other and say 'Thank God my kid is healthy,'" Schueller said during a phone interview this week.
"For that moment in time you appreciate what you have … never in a million years would (I) think that they would be doing this for my kid," she added, with a crack in her voice as a child cooed in the background.
The association, however, will be doing just that when it holds its 24th Annual "Make A Wish" fundraiser in Sussex on Saturday, five months after her 4-year-old son Bryce was diagnosed with severe aplastic anemia.
The blood disorder involves red and white blood cells and platelets do not make enough healthy cells for Bryce, who received a bone marrow transplant on May 1 from his 2-year-old sister Bell.
"In an ideal world, his prognosis is that he will go on and live a good and healthily and successful life … however, right now we are not even sure that his bone marrow has even accepted the transplant very well yet," Schueller said.
"We take every day with a new meaning," she added.
Half of the proceeds from the benefit will go to the Bryce. The other half will go to grant wishes for a handful of kids from Waukesha County.
"It's in your moment of crisis that you truly see the good in people," Schueller said.
Over the years, the annual event has raised more than $325,000 to pay for trips, computers and tree forts for kids who have been inflicted with life-threatening illnesses.
"You see this look on this child's face when they realize this entire event is for them," said Waukesha Sheriff Captain Karen Ruff, an event organizer. "It just makes you realize that every problem that you have ever had in your life isn't anything compared to what these families are going through."
The event will be highlighted by the "Wish Ride" in which motorcyclists take an escorted ride starting at the Wisconsin Harley shop in Oconomowoc at Highway 67 and Interstate 94 and ending at Sussex Village Park. Registration at the Wisconsin Harley shop begins at 9 a.m. with the trip beginning at 10 a.m.
The ride costs $25 per person and includes lunch, a beverage, raffle ticket and an event pin.
Cash prizes of $5,000, $2,000 and $1,000, an Apple IPad, a 100 piece tool set and a 42-inch television will be raffled during the event.
Raffle tickets can be purchased and "Wish Ride" registration can be done over the phone by calling the association at (262) 548-0070 or in person by going to Wisconsin Harley shop in Oconomowoc.
Raffle tickets are $5 a piece, three for $10 and 7 for $20.
The "Show & Shine Car Show" along with a silent auction that includes Brewer and Packer memorabilia and a softball tournament will be held in the Village Park. The raffle drawing will be held at 5 p.m. Participants do not need to be present to win.