Saturday, August 02, 2008

Make-a-Wish Foundation may girl's wish come true, as a dolphin trainer!

Thirteen year old Crystal Mercado loves everything about dolphins. Her favorite movie is the “Eye of the Dolphin” and her most loved book is “Flipper.” So it is no surprise that for her one true wish Crystal would choose to be a dolphin trainer.

Diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition, Crystal and her family will be headed to Marathon, Florida on Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2008, where she will spend two days at the Dolphin Research Center (DRC) learning how to train dolphins and one day enjoying the local attractions in the Florida Keys. She arrives back in Odessa on Aug. 16, 2008.

While at the Dolphin Research Center, Crystal will spend two days in the “Trainer For a Day” program. Crystal will learn how to read and understand dolphin behavior as well as how DRC uses positive reinforcement to share new behaviors with the dolphins and sea lions. She will then join the trainer on the dock and experience the joy of communicating with the dolphins by learning to use hand cues (like sign language) to ask for specific behaviors.

Best of all, Crystal will get the experience of lavishing love and praise on the dolphins when they accomplish the task at hand.

To celebrate Crystal’s upcoming wish, the Make-A-Wish Foundation® of North Texas, West Texas Regional office, will be hosting a send off swimming party from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 3, 2008, at 5803 Sundance Place in Midland.

Members from My Community Federal Credit Union (MCFCU) will also be at Crystal’s swimming party on Sunday. Last year MCFCU donated $18,000 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of North Texas, West Texas Region. Funds from this donation will be used to sponsor Crystal’s wish.
About the Make-A-Wish Foundation®

The Make-A-Wish Foundation® grants the wishes of children between the ages of 2 ½ and 18 who have been diagnosed with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. The West Texas Regional Office serves 42 counties including Midland and Ector County. The approximate cost of one wish is $6,000. This year the West Texas Regional Office is working towards granting over 100 wishes in the West Texas territory.

Quick "Facts about Dolphins"