Grant Wishes, Get Your Gifts Wrapped

Make a wish come true for a sick child this season, while crossing this task off your to-do list.

I'm sure you delight in watching your loved ones open the gifts you bought them for the holidays, but wrapping them can be tedious and time-consuming.

Why not let someone else do it for you?

Malvernite John Friia and his team of volunteers is willing to do the work for you. This Sunday they will be wrapping gifts from noon to 5 p.m. in Village Hall. All you have to do is box them, bring them to the Community Room located in the basement, and donate $1 for each item you need wrapped to the Make a Wish Foundation of Metro New York.

Friia, 20, a Malverne native currently studying at Baruch College, has been volunteering with the organization, which grants wishes to sick children, since he was an eighth grader. This is the third consecutive year he has organized the "Wrapping Wishes" event in his hometown. Last year, he raised nearly $2,000.

In addition to collecting donations in exchange for gift-wrapping, Friia also raises money for the charity by raffling off several lavish prizes during the event on Dec. 11. This year the prizes include overnight stays at Oheka Castle in Huntington and Caesars in Atlantic City, complete with gift certificates to nearby restaurants. The latter even comes with an autographed script from the HBO series, "Boardwalk Empire."

He'll also be raffling off a basket of signature Malverne goodies and gift certificates to local merchants. Other packages include tickets to the Gazillion Bubble Show, Top of the Rock, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and the Nate Berkus Show. There's also a Nintendo DS Lite, an iPod shuffle, jewelry, toys, Super Bowl swag and an autographed bag from the hit T.V. show "Pan Am" up for grabs.

A full list of the prizes can be viewed above. Raffle tickets are $5 each for grand prizes, and $2 each (or $5 for three) for all other packages.


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