The season of giving comes early once a year in Wisconsin

Published: Jul. 31, 2021 at 6:02 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - Even though it may not feel like it, it’s Christmas in July in Wisconsin. The spirit of giving is happening through the Christmas in July Charity, where volunteer motorcyclists bring donated toys to Marshfield Children’s Hospital.

The charity was founded by Greg Cemke after an accident. He wanted a second chance at life and now he’s doing it this year for the 7th annual ride. He said his goal is simply to spread joy among the children and families at Marshfield Children’s Hospital. “That’s my goal, is to have them smile, and just have a good time,” Cemke said. “The other goal I have is to have their parents smile as well because a lot of the children and a lot of their parents haven’t smiled in a long time, and this just brings it together,” he added.

Being the light in the darkness; every year a miracle child from the hospital is chosen to be given a ride of a lifetime. “The hospital talks to them and asks ‘would you like to be with Santa Clause on a motorcycle?’” Cemke said.

Julie Hofmann, Giada Cammisuli’s mom, said all Giada knew about was a ride on a motorcycle. Giada is a miracle child chosen this year to be recognized. She suffers from a rare auto-immune disease called Juvenile Arthritis. It causes inflammation throughout the body. “We got that under control with a weekly injection, we do every week for 7 years, we’ve been doing it. The problem is the inflammation went to her eyes,” her mom said.

It caused her to be legally blind at school. But her mom said that they weren’t going to focus on that Saturday. “Having a day where it’s carefree, and instead of her being the one to get the pokes, instead of her being the one to get the infusions and all the negative stuff, today is her day for the good stuff.”

The good stuff came around in many donations. The biggest was receiving a bedroom set from the owner of Bull Falls Harley-Davidson. It was a step closer to get what she’s been asking for, which was a total bedroom re-do. Many other things from her wishlist for her new bedroom were bought and donated to her. “I feel special because all of these people come here to fundraise for the children’s miracle network and I’m part of it so I feel kinda special,” Giada said.

Cemke, AKA Santa, said he was already planning for the 8th annual ride for next year. Click here to follow along on Cemke’s mission.

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