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Kickin’ it

Dream Factory of Syracuse to host annual kickball tournament fundraiser

A participant in the 2013 Dream Factory Kicks for Kids Kickball Tournament prepares to kick the ball while the ref looks on. This year’s tournament takes place Aug. 1.

A participant in the 2013 Dream Factory Kicks for Kids Kickball Tournament prepares to kick the ball while the ref looks on. This year’s tournament takes place Aug. 1.

— To help make a dream come true for a chronically ill child, all you have to do is play a game of kickball.

The Dream Factory of Syracuse is hosting its fourth annual Kicks for Kids Kickball Tournament Saturday, Aug. 1, at the Syracuse Kickball Park on Oswego Road in Liverpool. The co-ed tournament, which begins at 10 a.m., lasts all day and features food, games and live entertainment (donated by RMD Premier DJ Ryno), as well as raffles, a silent auction, a dunk tank and a bounce house for kids.

The Dream Factory is a local organization dedicated to making dreams come true for critically and chronically ill children in Onondaga, Oswego, Cayuga and Madison counties. It’s run entirely by volunteers who understand the pressures of living with children.

“Many of us can relate to the stress that comes with raising a family these days — keeping up with the needs of your children, their schedules and trying to find time just to bond,” said Erin Wisneski, public relations chair for the Dream Factory of Syracuse. “These families have the added struggle of trying to keep their child healthy, getting to doctor’s appointments, making sure medication is provided, finding and praying for answers. That puts a lot of stress on every family member. By granting the child’s dream, it takes the focus off their illness, and it may only be for a moment, but that can go a long way in rejuvenating every member of the family.”

Since the organization formed locally in 2012, it has granted five dreams, and four more are in the works. Among them are Sophia’s of Canastota, who has juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, will be going to the San Diego Zoo and Disneyland in August, and Amelia’s of Auburn, who has Chiari malformation, a birth defect that affects the brain and spinal cord, will meet We Are Kings singer and fellow brain surgery survivor Charles Trippy in September.

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