Albertan grandmother saddles up for her journey for wishes



    3,500 km adventure through four provinces to raise funds for The
    Children's Wish Foundation of Canada

    OTTAWA, March 29 /CNW/ - Martha Birkett is in Ottawa today preparing her
five horses for Giddy Up for Wishes, a national fundraising initiative in
support of The Children's Wish Foundation of Canada, which will take her on a
3,500 km horseback journey from Ottawa to Calgary over a three-month period.
    With more than 10 months of planning, Martha and her team, including
horses Coco, Daisy, Champagne, Sox and Rapper, are starting this journey
filled with the hope of touching the lives of children with high-risk,
life-threatening illnesses and helping them see that dreams and wishes really
do come true.
    "My journey is one of hope," says Martha Birkett, founder, Giddy Up For
Wishes. "My wish is that Canadians support this important initiative and help
children by with high-risk, life-threatening illnesses have their wishes
granted."
    Starting on March 30 in Ottawa, Martha's adventure will take her through
four provinces and more than 100 cities, towns and communities. Averaging
approximately 50 km per day on the Trans Canada Highway, Martha's journey, in
support of helping grant wishes to children, will culminate in July at the
Calgary Stampede. To learn more about this ride and to follow Martha's
progress "live", log onto www.giddyupforwishes.com.
    "Martha is a hero and we wish her much success. It's our privilege to be
able to have her generous support and that of her partners, especially the
local Lions Clubs," says Chris Kotsopoulos, Executive Director, Children's
Wish Foundation of Canada. "Through important fundraising and community
raising initiatives like Giddy Up for Wishes, Children's Wish is able to help
provide so many wonderful kids with the opportunity to realize one of their
most heartfelt wishes."
    Giddy Up for Wishes is made possible through the generous support of
individual donors and volunteers as well as more than 50 Lions Clubs across
the country, including the Bearspaw Lions Club of Calgary.
    Born and raised on farms in south-western Ontario, Martha Birkett has
always had a love for horses. Now living in Cochrane, AB with her husband Ken,
Martha has three daughters and two grandchildren. When not riding across the
country, Martha works with her husband at his forestry consulting company and
is also involved in other community and business initiatives. Martha has
always had a passion for horses. She spends a great deal of time riding in the
Foothills and Rocky Mountains, west of Cochrane. After several years of riding
in the Calgary Stampede Parade, she helped form a women's parade group called
'Women of the Wild West'. In the summer of 2007, Martha started competing in
the sport of Competitive Trail Riding - falling in love with the sport. Martha
partnered with The Children's Wish Foundation because one of her sisters was
severely health challenged and handicapped. She is thankful everyday for her
own healthy children and grandchildren. Martha personally knows several
children and their families who have benefited from the Children's Wish
Foundation generosity and recognizes how their lives were enhanced.

    Established in 1984, The Children's Wish Foundation of Canada is a
national non-profit organization dedicated to fulfilling a favorite wish for
children diagnosed with high-risk, life-threatening illnesses. Since its
inception, Children's Wish has granted over 13,000 wishes for children and
their families and fulfills approximately 900 wishes annually, each being an
individual adventure, carefully structured to meet the needs of that
particular child. For information on Children's Wish, log onto
www.childrenswish.ca.





For further information:

For further information: and interview opportunities: Trevor Eagles, The
Children's Wish Foundation of Canada - Alberta Chapter, p: (403) 265-9039, c:
(403) 333-3552, e: trevor.eagles@childrenswish.ca; George James,
Communications Director, The Children's Wish Foundation of Canada, o: (905)
839-4566, ext. 240 or 1-800-700-4437, c: (416) 402-3783, e:
george.james@childrenswish.ca; Martha Birkett, Giddy Up for Wishes, c: (403)
844-9749, e: martha@giddyupforwishes.com


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