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No snow? Team 68 goes for a walk

By Liz Keener

Tucker Hibbert fans raise more than $10,000 for Make-A-Wish

In January 2015, Tucker Hibbert and Arctic Cat teamed up to give Nick, a 14-year-old leukemia patient, a 2015 ZR 6000 Tucker Hibbert Race Replica snowmobile, granting his wish through Make-A-Wish Minnesota. Hibbert, a 14-time X Games medalist and 10-time snocross champion, and Nick then broke in the sled before the AMSOIL Championship Snocross race at Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Minnesota.

That experience left an impact on Hibbert, so in early August he put away his snowmobiles and motocross bikes and traded them in for some sneakers and a bright green T-shirt. Hibbert gathered a team of more than 200 supporters to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Minnesota Walk for Wishes.

Tucker Hibbert signs Team 68 T-shirts for those walking with his group at the Walk for Wishes.

Tucker Hibbert signs Team 68 T-shirts for those walking with his group at the Walk for Wishes.

“Through the experience of granting Nick’s wish, we just got to be involved with Make-A-Wish Minnesota … and got to see what they were all about. They really motivated us and inspired us to try to help out more and get more involved, so that’s basically the reason why we’re here today doing the Walk for Wishes event — to try to raise some money and make it possible for more kids’ wishes to be granted,” Hibbert told Powersports Business at the Aug. 6 event.

For a $20 donation, fans could register for the walk, where they could meet Hibbert, and they received a Team 68 T-shirt. Arctic Cat donated the T-shirts, so all donations could go directly to Make-A-Wish Minnesota.

It didn’t take long for donations to come pouring in, with Team 68 quickly exceeding its $6,800 goal to become the top fundraising team at the event. A total of $10,132 was raised for the walk.

It was a sea of green as Team 68 started the 5K walk on Saturday, Aug. 6.

It was a sea of green as Team 68 started the 5K walk on Saturday, Aug. 6.

“We’ve exceeded our goal for sure. We started out with a goal of raising $6,800, and that’s roughly the average cost of granting a kid’s wish, so we wanted to start out with that goal and make it possible for a wish to be granted. We’re really excited that everyone’s just willing to step up and support and join our team and donate to Make-A-Wish, and we’ve raised over $10,000 now,” Hibbert reported.

Though about half of those who donated joined Hibbert on the 5K walk/run, even more from all over the country pitched in to help Make-A-Wish Minnesota.

“We’ve got fans from all over, and to see those people step up and donate, even though they’re from different states and not able to make it to the event today, they just want to be a part of us granting wishes for kids,” Hibbert said. “It’s really humbling and exciting for us.”

The snowmobiler’s excitement could be seen throughout the morning of the walk, as he chatted with fans, autographed T-shirts and posed for photos with Nick and others from Team 68. To have someone with Hibbert’s fan base and following is important to Make-A-Wish Minnesota, the organization’s president and CEO Mia Broos Hoagberg noted.

Tucker Hibbert, his wife Mandi Johnson Hibbert (right), and Nick’s family pose with Nick for a photo. Hibbert and Arctic Cat joined together to grant Nick his wish in January 2015.

Tucker Hibbert, his wife Mandi Johnson Hibbert (right), and Nick’s family pose with Nick for a photo. Hibbert and Arctic Cat joined together to grant Nick his wish in January 2015.

“Tucker has been amazing, and I think when he gave the wish last year, he saw the power of the wish, and that’s what’s so incredible. He saw the impact that the snowmobile made to Nick,” she said. “It’s so fun to be able to introduce people and get them excited about the impact of a wish because it’s not just a child getting their wish; it’s a child having something to look forward to, to hope for, and it helps the family and the kids and the community that surrounds them. He’s now part of our community, and so we’re so excited that Tucker got all of his people behind this. He’s got a huge team; they’re doing just huge support for us, and it’s going to make a difference because there are kids across the state that will get a wish because of Tucker and his walkers.”

The Walk for Wishes, held in Minnehaha Park in Minneapolis, is the second largest annual fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Minnesota. Now in its 10th year, the 2016 edition of the walk drew more than $96,000 in donations. All of the money will stay in Minnesota, to grant the wishes of children battling life-threatening medical conditions. Last year, Make-A-Wish Minnesota granted 328 wishes, including Nick’s.

With the success of this year’s Team 68 efforts, expect Hibbert to continue to be on the fundraising circuit for Make-A-Wish Minnesota.

“We’re hopeful that we can do it again in the future, and the biggest thing is just making kids’ wishes come true and providing them with that opportunity,” he said. “It’s cool to be a part of it.”

About 100 people joined Tucker Hibbert and Team 68 at the Walk for Wishes, however more than 200 Team 68 fans donated to Make-A-Wish Minnesota.

About 100 people joined Tucker Hibbert and Team 68 at the Walk for Wishes, however more than 200 Team 68 fans donated to Make-A-Wish Minnesota.

 

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