Volunteers to restore damage at Make-A-Wish CT ‘Wishing Place’

Photo of Amanda Cuda

TRUMBULL — The athletic field on the campus of the Make-A-Wish Connecticut’s Wishing Place at 56 Commerce Drive is a vital part of the organization’s mission of helping dreams come true for children with critical illnesses.

The field — slightly smaller than a regular-size soccer field — is the site of past and future events, including an upcoming Walk for Wishes fundraiser.

But an act of vandalism that took place recently has left the field unusable.

According to Trumbull police and Make-A-Wish officials, some time between the evening of Saturday, March 12 and Sunday, March 13, someone drove over the field, leaving large tire tracks throughout.

“We take great pride in our property,” said Carin Buckman, Make-A-Wish Connecticut’s marketing, communications and digital manager. “For that property to be decimated is very disturbing.”

Buckman said nothing can be done on the field until the damage is fixed, and that Make-A-Wish Connecticut doesn’t have the funds to repair it. Instead, she and others within the organization reached out to the Trumbull community looking for help.

That’s how Jeffrey Kunkel and his group Trumbull Helps got involved. Kunkel said the organization has provided a variety of assistance across the region, including providing meals to the Bridgeport Rescue Mission, supporting the Trumbull Food Pantry and taking other actions.

Kunkel said when he heard about the damage to Make-A-Wish, he wanted to get involved. He quickly organized a clean-up of the site, which will take place at 10 a.m. March 26. Volunteers are welcome and can reach out through the Trumbull Helps Facebook page.

“If everyone brings two bags of top soil and some grass seed, we can have this done in two hours,” Kunkel said.

Kunkel said he doesn’t believe Make-A-Wish “should spend even 15 cents” to fix the field, and that all of its funds should go toward helping bring joy to ill children.

Make-A-Wish purchased the Commerce Drive site in 2019, Buckman said, and renovated it.

Trumbull Police spokesman Brian Weir said officers are investigating the vandalism at the property and that anyone with information can call the police at 203-261-3665.