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Help make wishes come true …

This weekend will offer the first opportunity for people to buychances on an elaborate playhouse while supporting a non-profitorganization that works to help sick children’s wishes cometrue.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Mississippi will have a booth atthe Ole Brook Festival, set up in front of the Brookhaven-LincolnCounty Chamber of Commerce building on Whitworth Avenue, wheresupporters will be selling tickets for a custom-builtplayhouse.

“The playhouse is going to be eight-foot by eight-foot, and it’svalued at more than $10,000,” said Make-A-Wish volunteer HollyPerkins Slay. “It will have a shingle roof and a real door andwindows.”

Construction on the playhouse began this week and should becompleted by McCaffery Construction, which volunteered to build it,in about three weeks.

“Then it will be displayed in various locations in Brookhavenfor everyone to see,” said Slay.

The playhouse will be given away Dec. 13, during a drawing atone of the elementary schools in Brookhaven. The two schools are ina battle to see which school will get to draw the ticket, saidSlay.

“Mamie Martin and Brookhaven Elementary are going to have apenny drive in November, and the school that raises the most moneywill get to draw the winning playhouse ticket,” she explained.

Chances to win the playhouse are also being sold at The DailyLeader and Becker and Associates until the day of the drawing. Thewinner does not have to be present at the drawing.

Funds raised from ticket sales will go toward granting wishesfor Mississippi children with life-threatening illnesses.

Last year, Make-A-Wish granted wishes for 115 children in thestate. Wishes granted in southwest Mississippi range from sending achild suffering from leukemia to DisneyWorld, donating a drum setto a little boy diagnosed with sickle cell anemia, and giving ayoung boy with a brain tumor the chance to cook with the Iron Chefin Boston.

“We’ve also had shopping sprees, and recently we gave a hot tubto a child,” said Slay. “We are working hard to serve more and morechildren throughout Mississippi, and we need everyone’s help.”

Businesses in the area are encouraged to participate in theorganization’s efforts to make wishes come true.

“Over 100 letters have been sent to local businesses asking themto be sponsors, and we’re hoping for a good response,” saidSlay.

Sponsorship is offered at several levels, with a shining star at$1,000, a golden star at $500, a silver star at $250 and a helpingstar for in-kind donations and volunteers.

“The children Make-A-Wish serves are brave, but deal with somuch pain, and people who help us can give them hope by helpingmake their wishes come true,” said Slay.

A lumber yard in the Brookhaven area has already stepped forwardto offer all the materials for the elaborate playhouse toMake-A-Wish at cost.

Anyone looking to find out more about the playhouse orMake-A-Wish, can contact Holly Perkins Slay at 823-0656 or call theorganization at 1-800-819-4072.