The Arm Wrestle Challenge is part of a worldwide campaign to draw attention to the fact it takes "muscle" to grant wishes to children in Arizona who are living with critical illnesses.
Students paid money to compete in the arm wrestling challenge at Williams Field High School in Gilbert. The money raised will go toward granting wishes for kids like 13-year-old Elijah Sotelo, who battles muscular dystrophy. He wished to go on a Disney Cruise Line cruise.
“It was super fun,” he said. “It’s really awesome that they did that. It makes them feel glad to feel like some people are watching them.”
Williams Field also hosted a Wish Week, where students raised money to adopt a wish.
“We raised enough money for a family of five to go to Disney World,” said Katie Marqueling, a senior at Williams Field High School.
This Arm Wrestle Challenge is part of a month-long World Wish Day Campaign featuring WWE Superstar John Cena, Johnny Depp and Steve Harvey.
“When you see it like actually full come through, you’re like 'Wow, we actually made an impact,'” said Marqueling.
The campaign theme is “Wishes Take Muscle.”
“I thank the school for doing this,” said Sotelo.
A wish can give kids the mental strength to fight their illness.
“Sometimes the families use it as the end of a medical journey,” said Hollie Costello of Make-A-Wish Arizona. “Sometimes they use it as a way to spur the child to continue with their care, it’s just kind of when they need the most. That’s when the wish is the most beneficial.”
The campaign also honors the donors, doctors, volunteers and other supporters who lend their muscle, whether it's their time, energy or resources.
“There’s no words to describe it,” said Marqueling. “It’s an amazing feeling.”
Students are hoping to reach their $10,000 goal by the end of April.
Make-A-Wish Arizona has 24 wishes on its schedule to grant just this month, so they’re asking people to participate in the Arm Wrestle Challenge. Be sure to post pictures on social media using the hashtag #ArmWrestleChallenge.