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Nov 09, 2023

Rock Valley Physical Therapy raises $70,000 to benefit Make-A-Wish 

It was kindness and caring at every dunk-tank dunk, every slime-drop dripped, hotdog-cart hotdog served, knitted-winter-cap-made, photo-booth-photo taken, bake-sale item sold, every root beer-float created, restaurant-promotion shared, bags-tournament held, dress-up-bet winning/losing afternoon, gift-basket-made and a raffle-for-every-cause run of compassion-filled give-back and love.  

At every turn, it was a unique-and-genuine, from-the-heart adventure, bringing out the best in all that is Rock Valley Physical Therapy, patients included.  

In all, through the numerous great and gracious efforts of a business family of 500-plus – spanning 61 clinics across three states – more than $70,000 was raised to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundations of Iowa, Illinois and Nebraska, the three states – across nine regions – Rock Valley Physical Therapy calls home. There will be three wishes granted in Iowa, two in Illinois and two in Nebraska.  

On Thursday, Nov. 9th, representatives from Make-A-Wish Iowa and Make-A-Wish Illinois (there will be a celebration Dec.15 for Nebraska Make-A-Wish), gathered at Rock Valley’s 43rd Ave. (Moline) for a ceremonial check presentation. 

Gratitude for a job well done, filled the room. 

In all, 11 Rock Valley clinics raised more than $1,000. Three raised over $2,000, and two clinics raised over $3,000.  Rock Valley’s Silvis, Illinois-based clinic, led the way with $3,682 raised on behalf of Make-A-Wish.  

Amazing… Simply amazing.  

Make-A-Wish, an international organization, serves to fulfill the wishes of critically ill children. It operates in over 50 countries and has brought 550,000 wishes to life in 43 years. The 29th of April every year has been dubbed: “World Wish Day,’’ commemorating the first wish ever granted by the movement.  

 “Thank you, Rock Valley Physical Therapy, for your commitment to making wishes come true,’’ said Sara Kurovski, President & CEO Make-A-Wish Iowa, also speaking on behalf of Nebraska Make-A-Wish.  

“Make-A-Wish Iowa granted a record 198 wishes in fiscal year 2023 and we couldn’t have done it without the support of those like Rock Valley Physical Therapy. One of the amazing things about this team is they truly made each fundraiser their own. At each of their clinics, they worked to make fun, creative and effective fundraisers to raise money for wishes and to make a difference in the life of a child with a critical illness. Thank you, Rock Valley Physical Therapy for your impact on Wish kids and their families.’’  

“This organization’s generous contribution to Make-A-Wish Illinois is inspiring in bringing more life-changing wishes to children with critical illness,’’ said Ashley White, Gift Officer – Community Programs for Make-A-Wish Illinois. “For children with critical illnesses, the journey to hope and strength begins with a wish and is made possible through individual, corporate and community support like that of Rock Valley Physical Therapy. We are so appreciative.’’  

“Leaving our communities better than we found them is why we do what we do at Rock Valley,’’ said Mike Horsfield, PT, MPT, MBA, OCS, CEO/Rock Valley Physical Therapy. “Seeing it happen one patient at a time and now one wish at a time is the reward for embracing this responsibility. I’ve never been so proud to work alongside this amazing group of people.’’  

The $70,000-plus raised on behalf of Make-A-Wish comes on the heels of Rock Valley raising $100,000 in 2021 on behalf of Ronald McDonald Houses across Rock Valley regions.  

“I’m always a little bit surprised and inspired every time by the way our clinics respond,’’ said Michelle Sarb, PT, DPT, OCS, chairperson of the Rock Valley Physical Therapy Philanthropy Committee. A member of the Rock Valley family for 16 years, Sarb, a wife and mother of three, has paced the company’s philanthropic arm for 15 years.  

“Three wishes, one wish across three states, is what we believed would be the goal, but our clinics – as usual – went above and beyond,’’ added Sarb. “With the great work by our staff, our payroll deduction and board match, that three has turned to seven (wishes) and it adds up to something extra special.  Me saying I’m impressed might not do this kind of effort justice.’’  

Sarb says it goes beyond staff, therapists and clinics raising money. “Patient participation is huge,’’ Sarb said. “And that’s why we do what we do. Our patients are caring and have always been with us when we do things of this nature. The creativity of clinics and the patient buy-in have to make you smile. Amazing teamwork. Amazing.’’  

On all fronts.  

By: Johnny Marx, Rock Valley Physical Therapy Storyteller