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GRETZKY TEAMS WITH "MAKE-A-WISH"

by Staff Writer / Arizona Coyotes

GRETZKY TEAMS UP WITH MAKE A WISH FOUNDATION & ESPN


TO FULFILL CHILD'S DREAM

Photo Credit: David Giesbrecht/ESPN

Phoenix Coyotes Managing Partner - Head Coach Wayne Gretzky recently teamed up with the Make-A-Wish Foundation and ESPN to help fulfill the dream of 12-year old Dillon DeStefano.

Gretzky was one of 10 athletes chosen by ESPN to participate in SportsCenter's 10-part series titled "My Wish" - a collaborative effort with the Make-A-Wish Foundation that will chronicle the granting of unique sports-related wishes for 10 children. Each story and experience will be featured on ESPN's SportsCenter. The stories began airing July 9 and will conclude July 23. The Gretzky/DeStefano episode can be seen on Thursday, July 20 at 3:00 p.m., 8:00 p.m., 11:00 p.m. and midnight on ESPN (all times local Arizona time). It will also re-air the morning of Friday, July 21.

DeStefano, who was diagnosed with Crohn's disease three years ago, was treated to an exclusive day with Gretzky that included a visit to "The Great One's" childhood home in Brantford, Ontario. While at Gretzky's home, DeStefano met Walter Gretzky (Wayne's father) and listened to stories about Gretzky's childhood and professional career.

"The Make A Wish Foundation is a great organization and I was honored to be selected by Dillon to make his wish come true," said Gretzky. "Dillon is a great kid and I'm glad we could spend some time together and get to know each other. We had a lot of fun."

After a tour of the family home, DeStefano and Gretzky traveled to the nearby Wayne Gretzky Arena, where the two laced up their skates and took to the ice for a private on-ice session.

DeStefano then traveled with Gretzky to Walter Gretzky's annual charity golf tournament where he accompanied the Coyotes' coach on the course. The entire day's events were filmed by ESPN.

Other athletes featured in the ESPN "My Wish" series include Derek Jeter, Roger Clemens, Kobe Bryant, Jeff Gordon, Tedy Bruski, Donovan McNabb and Todd Helton. For more information, please visit www.espn.com.

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