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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

A moment of Magic continues to help medically vulnerable children

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Photo by Keifer Russell

Marquette’s A Moment of Magic club is working to add a little bit of magic into the lives of medically vulnerable children in the Milwaukee area.

The club is a non-profit service organization with chapters at various universities across the U.S. The program aims to aid underserved kids in two ways — magical hospital visits and on-campus charity events.

“There are volunteers that dress up in costumes as princesses, superheroes, fairies and go out to places like Children’s Wisconsin and Ronald McDonald House and bring magic to these kids when they don’t have a lot of fun in their lives,” Manaal Nasir, a junior in the College of Health Sciences and social media coordinator for AMoM, said.

AMoM was first brainstormed by two college students in 2014 and later adopted as a national organization in 2017. As of 2021, the group has served over 100,000 children and has more than 29 chapters across the country, including one at Marquette.

“My favorite visit was this past summer when we went to Milwaukee Center for Independence, which is a skilled nursing home for kids that’s right on campus down the street from us. Getting to see these kids and work with them really was amazing and the joy that they brought was absolutely wonderful,” Nasir said.

Breanna McMenamin, a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences and coordinator of fundraising and outreach for AMoM said the meetings are held on Monday nights from 7 p.m. – 8 p.m. in Cudahy Hall where they conduct training and team bonding.

“I would say that I love the [Down Syndrome Association of Wisconsin] visits. They’re always so much fun because you’re going into a community with people your age and above, and they’re having so much fun. There’s so much pure joy,” McMenamin said.

Sydney Nommensen, a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences and costume coordinator for AMoM, said that she was excited to work with DSAW as well.

Nasir said frequent attendance and training are encouraged for student members looking to eventually take on a larger role as characters on the visits AMoM does to Children’s Wisconsin and Ronald McDonald House in Wauwatosa.

Nommensen said the club planned two events for the month: A campus-wide scavenger hunt that took place on Sept. 17 and the Tea Party Gala in the ballrooms in the Alumni Memorial Union on Sept. 29, with proceeds from both events supporting AMoM.

“The scavenger hunt has been something in the works for at least two years. Our President Julia [Rihani] has put so much heart and soul into this scavenger hunt, but it’s honestly a good fundraiser and good publicity for us,” Nommensen said.

With September being National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, the organization is looking to do more fundraising after the scavenger hunt with their Tea Party Gala.

This semi-formal dance on Sept. 29 will host local performing groups and a raffle with prizes such as a signed Milwaukee Bucks jersey. Nommensen said the dance will take place the night after AMoM’s national gala in New York.

“Some of what we make [at the events] goes straight back to national, but most of what we’re going to make goes to us. We’re able to get out to more visits, we’re able to do more transportation farther away, we’re able to do more tie-blanket events and make more goodie bags for the kids. So, it’s just about getting more funds to do what we want to do,” McMenamin said.

After the information is shared at the national gala, Nommensen said the attendees of the Tea Party Gala will be able to understand what their money is going to support and the national impact their contributions hold.

McMenamin said as the organization continues to gain publicity and outreach through their events and meetings, members of the club remain focused on the goal of “Being the Difference” that Marquette strongly emphasizes.

Nommensen said the university’s motto coincides well with AMoM’s slogan: “Brave. Strong. Fearless,” which she said is what the children of the organization work to live out every day.

McMenamin said going out of one’s comfort zone to help children through AMoM events such as hospital visits or on-campus fundraisers is courageous for students to do, and that the children provide a learning lesson for volunteers.

“These kids exemplify ‘Brave. Strong. Fearless,’ and they are a really good example to us, how we can be the difference, and how we can continue to be brave like them in any situation in our life, strong and fearless just like they are,” McMenamin said.

This story was written by Mia Thurow. She can be reached at [email protected]

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About the Contributors
Mia Thurow is a first-year student from Oconomowoc, Wisconsin double-majoring in Journalism and Spanish with a minor in Digital Media. She is a Marquette Wire News Reporter for the 2023-2024 school year. In her free time, Mia enjoys cheering on all her favorite sports teams, exploring downtown Milwaukee with friends, and spending time hiking in nature. Mia is excited to meet new people during her time at the Wire and raise awareness of important news stories in the local community.
Keifer Russell, Staff Photographer
Keifer Russell is a junior from Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin studying digital media and public relations and is a Staff Photographer of the Marquette Wire for the 2023-2024 school year. Outside of the Wire he enjoys rock climbing, photography (figures), as well as finding and listening to new music. He is very excited to further refine his photographic content over the next year

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