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by Don Schwartz / Arizona Coyotes
Wish lists are a staple of the holiday season, the text of a child’s whimsical wants and desires.

For many kids around the Valley, these lists contain the titles of the newest games and toys they hope to receive. But for children in need, wishes too often become distant dreams.

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Hoping to answer some of these wishes were former NHL All-Star goaltender and current Coyotes’ Director of Prospect Development Sean Burke and Howler, the top dog of NHL mascots. The pair joined 104.7 KISS-FM’s Johnjay and Rich at Tempe Marketplace on Thursday morning for the radio DJ duo’s 2008 Christmas Wish-a-Thon.

The Christmas Wish Program grants wishes and offers assistance to families in extreme need. It can be heard on-air and online during the Johnjay and Rich morning show primarily during the holiday season. A “wish” is delivered each day of the work week.

During the 12-hour “Wish-A-Thon” on Thursday, multiple families were granted wishes throughout the day. Howler added his own brand of “howliday” spirit by dropping off Family Fun Packs for people who were making donations throughout the day and for the families that Johnjay and Rich were granting wishes to throughout the event. Also giving of himself was Burke, who personally donated $1,000 to help the cause.
Coyotes Director of Prospect Development Sean Burke (left) joins KISS-FM Johnjay & Rich for their Christmas Wish-a-thon held at Tempe Marketplace.

“It’s really an honor to be a part of this great cause,” Burke said. “Johnjay and Rich are great guys who are doing something amazing for those in need this holiday season. The whole concept of making wishes come true is tremendous and I'm glad we were able to support their efforts.”

Coyotes fans can also grant the wishes of children in need by making a donation at the Holiday Toy Drive, presented by Fox Sports Arizona, on Dec. 13 at Arena. Toys will be collected outside Gates 4 and 7 prior to the 7 p.m. game vs. Detroit. All fans who donate will be eligible to enter a contest to win a team-signed jersey, meet Mikael Tellqvist and Kurt Sauer following the game and receive four glass seats to a future game. All donations will support the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Phoenix.

The Holiday Toy Drive is part of December’s Coyotes Cause, “Caring for our Children, presented by Sharp Business Systems” – a month-long commitment to raising awareness for non-profit organizations that improve the lives of our community’s children.

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