|Abel Chen with Columbia Astronaut C. Gordon Fullerton|
|Abel Chen looking through Celestron NexStar 4 SE|
|Celestron team at the event (photo courtesy of Justinhallerphoto.com)
SAPUTO CHEESE USA TEAMS WITH MAKE-A-WISH FOUNDATION® OF GREATER LOS ANGELES TO GRANT A DIAMOND BAR CHILD’S WISH TO WITNESS A SPACE SHUTTLE LAUNCH AND HUG AN ASTRONAUT
6-Year-Old Abel Chen Lives His Dream As He Visits Cape Canaveral For A Live Shuttle Launch And Hugs Columbia Astronaut C. Gordon Fullerton As Part Of The Foundation’s A Season of Wishes Holiday Campaign
LOS ANGELES (DECEMBER 12, 2006) – The Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Greater Los Angeles partnered with Saputo Cheese USA to fulfill the wish of 6-year-old aspiring space explorer Abel Chen, who is currently battling leukemia, as he lived out his dream when he visited Cape Canaveral to view a shuttle launch and hug an astronaut. Having recently returned from a weeklong trip to the Kennedy Center in Florida, Abel received a hero’s welcome this evening as he was arrived at The Grove’s Town Square to give a big hug to Columbia Astronaut C. Gordon Fullerton.
"Abel is one of the bravest boys I have ever met, it was genuinely heartwarming to watch his dream to hug an astronaut become reality," said Sandy Goldberg, Saputo Cheese Vice President of Dairy. "It has been fulfilling for all of us at Saputo to provide Abel with a week of space exploration and time with his heroes, and we encourage him to keep reaching for the stars in all that he does."
Immediately following the wish granting celebration, Saputo Cheese representative Sandy Goldberg presented Abel with a Celestron SkyScout, the ultimate star-gazing device which allows users to instantly identify and locate over 6,000 celestial objects using "point and shoot" GPS technology. Additionally, several high-powered Celestron telescopes were set up throughout The Grove's Town Square, and Abel’s family, friends and guests were all invited to a night of constellation spotting to celebrate the fulfillment of his lifelong dream.
Now in its second year, A Season of Wishes has expanded to provide all Southern California residents with numerous opportunities to witness the powerful impact that fulfilling a wish has on the lives of children battling life-threatening medical conditions through a series of public wish fulfillment celebrations that include "Weekly Wish Nights at The Grove,"where every Tuesday night during the holiday season at The Grove in Los Angeles, a wish child has their most heartfelt wish publicly granted.
"We appreciated having Saputo Cheese USA's support and participation in the fulfillment of Abel’s wish. Their involvement helped make this year’s A Season of Wishes especially magical," said Kelli Seely, president and CEO of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Los Angeles. "Saputo has gone the extra mile toprovide Abel with a memorable and one-of-a-kind experience.Their gift of the Celestron SkyScout and donation of product to the wish party added an amazing enhancement to his week at the Kennedy Center to hugging a real life astronaut, and their efforts will help us raise awareness for the families we serve and fulfill the dreams of children with life-threatening medical conditions in the Los Angeles community."
Always with an expert hand, Saputo transforms into success the passion and initiative of the 8,500 dedicated men and women who work in its 46 plants around the world. Combining tradition and innovation, the Company produces, commercializes and distributes the highest quality products under such well-known brands as Saputo, Alexis de Portneuf, Armstrong, Baxter, Dairyland, De Lucia, Dragone, DuVillage de Warwick, Frigo, Kingsey, La Paulina, Nutrilait,Princesse, Ricrem, Sir Laurier d'Arthabaska, Stella, Treasure Cave, HOP&GO! and Vachon. As one of the top twenty dairy processors in the world, the largest dairy processor in Canada, amongst the top five cheese producers in the United States, the third largest dairy processor in Argentina and the largest snack-cake manufacturer in Canada, Saputo renews its commitment to excellence and growth every day. Saputo Inc. is a public company whose shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol SAP.
About the Make-A-Wish Foundation
The Make-A-Wish Foundation® grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. Born in 1980 when a group of caring individuals helped a young boy fulfill his dream of becoming a police officer, the Foundation is now the largest wish-granting charity in the world, with 69 chapters in the U.S. and its territories. With the help of generous donors and nearly 25,000 volunteers, the Make-A-Wish Foundation grants more than 12,500 wishes a year and has granted more than 141,000 wishes in the U.S. since inception.
For more information about your local Make-A-Wish Foundation chapter or to lend your support to the A Season of Wishes campaign go to www.aseasonofwishes.org or call 1-888-217-WISH.