Family's trip to Disney World is the 1,000th wish granted

An energetic 7-year-old in black sneakers, with a balloon animal in hand, ran around the lobby Wednesday of the Davis-Moore Lincoln Mercury dealership.

Charlie Futhey and his parents were not getting a new car, but they were getting the trip of a lifetime.

Charlie, who suffers from a rare form of cancer, is the recipient of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Kansas' 1,000th wish. His wish? A trip to Disney World.

The milestone wish was sponsored by Davis-Moore Auto Group, which employs Charlie's father, Daryl.

"Daryl is a 20-plus year employee with the company, so we knew of his son's illness for some time," said Sean Hudspeth, the company's human resources director.

"When Make-A-Wish called and said we are getting ready to do the 1,000th wish, and it's going to be Daryl Futhey's son Charlie, we jumped all over it."

In a ceremony in the dealership at 5817 E. Kellogg, company president Dawson Grimsley — who is an honorary member of the organization's board — presented a check for $6,500 to Make-A-Wish Foundation of Kansas CEO Pat Greenway.

The check will pay for the Futheys' weeklong trip to Florida to visit Disney World, Universal Studios and other theme parks.

"It gave us hope and it gave Charlie something to look forward to," said his mother, Sandy. "He's been looking forward to this trip for 18 months. Now that he's feeling better, he's going to go and have some fun."

Greenway said the most popular wish for her organization is a trip to Disney World. But it also grants wishes like shopping sprees, bedroom makeovers and meetings with celebrities.

"It's pretty much anything that the child can imagine, we try to do," she said.

The nonprofit organization grants a single wish to Kansas children ages 2 to 18 who suffer from life-threatening medical conditions.

The first wish was granted in 1985 to 10-year-old Rhonda Moler of Hiawatha. She wanted to ride her horse in the annual winter parade in Scottsdale, Ariz., where she had relatives.

"It feels good to know we've helped so many families over the years, families like Charlie's who are going through a really hard time worrying about doctors and hospitals and treatments," Greenway said. "We're giving him a break from that."