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Choir students' letters to Santa raise money for Make-A-Wish

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SALT LAKE CITY — Take the young singers of the Madeleine Choir School, add Macy's Department Store and bring in the Make-A-Wish Foundation: It adds up to the possibility of $1 million to help children with life-threatening conditions.

Opening the holiday season with its traditional St. Cecelia's Day Concert, the singers of the Madeleine Choir School did double duty Sunday night at the Cathedral of the Madeleine.

Before singing, they used their writing skills to create notes to Santa. Each letter, which goes to a Macy's store, will add $1 to Utah's Make-A-Wish campaign.

"We would love to challenge all the schools in Utah to write a letter to Santa on behalf of the Make-A-Wish Foundation," said Jill Baillie, principal of the Madeleine Choir School.

Make-A-Wish recipient Ryan Horton, 15, accepted the letters. He was diagnosed with adrenoleukodystrophy, which damages the nerve cells in the brain. His wish was to have a dune buggy.

"There's lots of kids out there that have disabilities and diseases. It's great to know that people want to contribute and be part of the cause," he said.

The letters go to Santa but before that, Make-A-Wish volunteers and Macy's employees count them and contribute to children who need a reason to smile.

"They go through rough times," said Wendy Horton with the Make-A-Wish Foundation. "They're in hospitals. They're being poked with needles. They're sad. Wishes give them a chance to look forward to something and to bring joy and hope into their lives."

Macy's has a school activity kit for its Believe Campaign, which makes it possible for Utah students to meet the challenge of the Madeleine Choir School. Find it at


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Carole Mikita


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