HOMETOWN HERO: Belvidere Grandmother Gives 110% To Keep Grandson’s Wish Alive
If you've ever attended a "Nik's Wish" benefit I am certain you have spotted one of the most dedicated grandmothers you will ever meet. How could she not be considered a Hometown Hero?
This is such a heartwarming story but, first, here is a quick explanation of the Nikolas Ritschel Foundation and "Nik's Wish."
Nik was diagnosed with cancer just before his 18th birthday and was granted a wish from the Make-A-Wish Foundation. This wish meant the world to him. It gave him hope and happiness in a time of struggle and pain. When Nik discovered that kids over 17 do not qualify, he wanted to help. The night before cancer took his life in 2012, he asked to help them have a wish too.
This week's Hometown Hero is Judi Boehle of Belvidere and rather I share the story, here is the nomination we received from Kelli, Judi's daughter and Nik's mom. (Keep a tissue nearby because I needed one by the end of this.)
My mom, Judi, has been there from the beginning of the foundation. She has not missed any events since 2012. She works 100s of hours to create over 150 silent auction items each year for Nik's Home Run. The auction funds nearly 3 wishes single handedly. Each auction basket must be perfect as it is a labor of love for her grandson, Nik. Even when she suffered 2 strokes, it would not stop her from ensuring the auction was ready for the event. Besides all of the fundraising help, Judi is also a wish maker delivering 59 of the 200 wishes to young adults in need and prepares ALL of the wish packages. This is not a small job. Wish makers work with the families to arrange all of the details to provide a worry free break from cancer. Even after celebrating her 80th birthday, she is still giving 110% to ensure Nik's Wish lives on. My mom is my hero!
What a wonderful human being, what a wonderful example. Nothing more needs to be said.
As a Q98.5 Hometown Hero, Judi will receive a $100 Amazon gift card thanks to Gustafson's Furniture & Mattress. Although we're certain she won't spend it on herself, whatever she uses it for will bring joy to someone, and that's what life is all about.
If you would like to learn more about the Nikolas Ritschel Foundation and Nik's Wish, you can do that right here.
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JB Love is ½ of Q98.5's Lil Zim & JB In The Morning, weekday mornings from 5:00 a.m. to 10 a.m. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.