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'Race to Neverland' to Support Nonprofit's Growing Efforts to Make Disney Dreams Come True

by on July 31, 2019 5:00 AM

State College-based nonprofit Pixie Dust Wishes has been granting wishes — in the form of getaways to Walt Disney World — to local children with special needs and their families for nearly four years. Now, community members who want to get in on the fun of making kids’ Disney dreams come true can do so, when they attend the upcoming Race to Neverland 5k. 

“Pixie Dust Wishes was started by Jaimie [Miller] because of her daughter Emma,” explains Kim Patti, one of the event organizers. “Emma has Down syndrome. When Jaimie and her family go to Disney World, it brings so much joy to Emma and gives the whole family a chance to just relax and enjoy being together. [Miller] wanted to bring that feeling to other families as well…” 

Taking place Aug. 10 at Tudek Park, this is the third year Pixie Dust Wishes has hosted the Race to Neverland 5k. In addition to the 5k race, the family-friendly event also features a 1-mile fun walk that’s suitable for participants of any ability, as the walking path is handicap accessible. 

“If you don’t want to run or walk, we will have free food, basket auctions, a silent auction, Disney-themed crafts, face painting, visits from Disney characters and a photo booth this year.  We will also be presenting our next wish right after the race,” Patti says. “You don’t have to be a runner to participate in the event.”

The event also includes a Disney-themed costume contest, with prizes awarded to individuals, couples and groups of three or more people.

More than 200 people participated in either the 5k or the fun walk at last year’s event and this year Pixie Dust Wishes is hoping to get as many as 300 participants, with the goal of growing the event each year. 

Sponsorships, race participation fees and proceeds from the basket and silent auctions all go to Pixie Dust Wishes. 

“That money is then used to help us send more families to Disney World,” Patti says. “The race is our biggest fundraiser of the year so that really determines how many wishes we can grant for the rest of the year.”

Since its founding nearly four years ago, Pixie Dust Wishes has granted 11 wishes to local children. 

“Our goal is to keep growing and keep granting wishes so that we can spread a little pixie dust to more and more families,” Patti says.

Interested community members can register for the 5k or walk online. However, for those who don’t get a chance to sign up ahead of race day, they can also show up and sign up on site the morning of the race. 

The 5k and walk takes place 9 a.m.–noon. Registration for the 5k is $25 and registration for the fun walk is $15. Pre-registration guarantees participants receive a t-shirt on race day.

Volunteers are also welcomed on race day and can register online. Currently, volunteers are needed for race set up, directing parking, directing runners, manning water tables, food set up, clean up and other activities. 

For those who can’t make the Race to Neverland 5k, but would still like to support Pixie Dust Wishes, donations can be made at



Holly Riddle is a freelance food, lifestyle and entertainment writer. She can be reached at [email protected]
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