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Wish Blog

Feb 04, 2020

Running So Wish Kids Can Soar

Sean Tolkin and his father Brad Tolkin ran the TCS New York City Marathon in November 2019 to raise funds for Make-A-Wish Metro New York. Their goal was to raise $4,000 each but they quickly smashed through those aspirations to accomplish something much greater.

Q: Tell us how you and your dad got involved with Make-A-Wish?

A: We have been involved since 2010. Our company, World Travel Holdings, the world’s largest cruise agency and award-winning leisure travel company, chose Make-A-Wish as their signature charity after learning about how many wishes involve travel. When we saw how many are actually cruise related, we were immediately connected to the mission.

Q: What inspired you both to run the New York Marathon for Make-A-Wish?

A: After running the New York City Marathon with my brother back in 2018, I knew it was something I wanted to do with my dad. He initially got me into running, so I wanted to accomplish this huge milestone (his first marathon at 61) with him! Running for Make-A-Wish was a no-brainer. Over the years, we have learned about the value of wishes, so an opportunity to help even more was born.

Q: You guys raised over $50,000 in less than two months. That’s incredible! How did you motivate and inspire your supporters?

A: To fundraise, we shared why Make-A-Wish was so important to us and our network. As our signature charity, we have done various office fundraisers, pie contests, raffles and I have even run a marathon at sea (running the ship’s track 210 times) at our annual conference. So, we have some experience with spreading the word about Make-A-Wish! We were able to blend our love of the travel industry, our passion for running and the Make-A-Wish story. With over 75% of wishes involving travel, we appealed to our supporters with stories of children who also love traveling.

We are so grateful for our supportive network. They truly made an impact on future wish kids and their families by supporting our marathon fundraising!



Q: What advice do you have to others wanting to run the New York City Marathon on behalf of Make-A-Wish?

A: Find a way to connect the Make-A-Wish mission with your friends and family. Make-A-Wish is an incredible organization so find the niche part of the foundation that resonates with your audience! Our network is travel industry folks, so discussing the impact of travel and cruise wishes, and how these trips aren’t “last wishes” but instead provide hope, strength and joy for the wish child and family was very important. This will help your supporters remember Make-A-Wish and help support your marathon journey!

Q: How did it feel to cross the finish line?

A: An indescribable feeling of pride, relief, overwhelming joy! Thankfully my dad and I were able to run almost the entirety of the race together. In a lifetime of incredible memories with my father, crossing the finish line with him will stand amongst the best! Being a part of Team Make-A-Wish was a wonderful experience from beginning to end!

Want to cross the New York City Marathon off your bucket list while supporting our wish kids? Now is your chance! We have limited availability for the 50th Anniversary TCS New York City Marathon. If you are interested in running, please reach out to Caroline Ver Planck at or 929-388-1977 ASAP!

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Stories of joy, resilience and healing that can only happen with Make-A-Wish.

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