Alaska State Troopers Adventure Relay is a trans-Alaska trek to raise money for the Wish Upon The North Star, a non-profit organized by Alaskans in 1983 to fulfill the wishes of Alaskan children with life-threatening illnesses.
Created and organized by employees of the Alaska State Troopers on a volunteer basis, ASTAR includes the community AST serves – the State of Alaska – and benefits an Alaskan charity. Mixing up the methods of navigating Alaska’s beautiful and challenging terrain allows enthusiasts of all types of adventure to participate. The route travels through communities both small and large to strengthen the bonds between these individuals and the communities they serve, and over varying terrain to capture the adventuresome spirit that embodies The Last Frontier. The public can cheer the participants on, volunteer to help along the route and raise money to benefit children with life-threatening illnesses.
The relay is open to law enforcement personnel, employees, retirees and family to participate as well as their fire department and military counterparts.
Through participation, pledges and fundraising, ASTAR was able to raise more than $61,000 for WUNS since its inception in 2009. The relay captures the spirit of determination to face the challenges on the trail, symbolizing the far greater challenges for those the event will benefit.
For more information, visit the ASTAR website at www.alaskastar.org, email AlaskaRelay@gmail.com or contact Beth Ipsen at (907)347-0638.
Below are examples of wishes Wish Upon the North Star has provided over the last several years which, although not in total, are listed below:
Madison H. She is six-years-old who suffers from a “serious congenital malformation” requiring multiple lengthy hospitalizations over her life. Surgeons describe her as a “very special little girl” and are trying to perform corrective surgeries to relieve this chronic condition. Her wish, which has been fulfilled, was to go to Hawaii and “swim with the dolphins.”
Ian F. He is 13-year-old boy from Sitka who was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. His wish was to go to Disneyworld; that wish has been completed.
Kevin J. He is an eight-year-old boy from the Village of Kipnuk, AK who is suffering from cancer which requires extended hospital stays at both Anchorage and Seattle. His wish was for some PlayStation games but when we learned that he was going to be playing them on the only 19” TV that the family owned, we were able to provide him with a 42” flat screen, color TV. DEfra Air transported the TV at no charge. The attached article from the Tundra Times captures the excitement.
Drew P. He is a 12-year-old boy from Bethel, Alaska who suffers from Chronic Crohn’s Disease. His wish was to go to Disneyworld. That wish has been completed.
Fabian B. He is a four-year-old boy from Fairbanks who has two congenital heart defects. His wish was to have his own bed (he was still in a crib) and have fish on the walls of the bedroom. This wish was provided with the assistance from the Fairbanks AST Detachment and was a direct result of the annual ASTAR Run. Attached is a copy of the article on the wish written by AST.
Matteo Y. He is a six-year-old boy from Anchorage who was referred to WUNS by Dr. Scott Wellman of the Alaska Children’s Heart Institute. Matteo is expected to receive a heart transplant. His wish to go to Hawaii has been completed.
Brenda S. This eight-year-old girl, originally from an Alaska Village, whose illness required her to move to Anchorage, was referred to WUNS by Providence Children’s Hospital. She suffers from Type Two Vitamin D resistant rickets which requires continuous treatment so of calcium infusion. Her wish to meet the Disney princess at Disneyworld has been completed.
Jessica W. She was thirteen-years-old at the time her wish to go to Disneyworld accompanied by her family was accomplished. She suffered from a cancerous brain tumor and was confined to a wheelchair. Unfortunately several months after the wish was completed Jessica did succumb to the illness. We received a letter from the family informing us how much that wish meant to the entire family.
James E. He is thirteen-year-old boy from Soldotna who suffers from TB infection and unknown other illnesses. He required feeding tube. His wish to Disneyworld has been completed. This is another wish that is a direct result of the annual ASTAR and I have attached a copy of a photo taken when the Soldotna Troopers contacted him to inform him about the wish.
Noah K. This wish is in process with dates certain. This twelve-year-old Anchorage boy suffers from Epstein’s anomaly, holes in heart, congenital heart defects. He is awaiting second open heart surgery. His wish to go to Disneyland has been arranged and he will leave next month.
Elijah. B. This 12-year-old boy from Wasilla, Alaska was referred to us by Alaska Children’s Hospital. He suffers from Severe Aplastic Anemia. His wish to go to Hawaii has been arranged and he will depart Anchorage for Maui on March 4th.
Ashley P. She is a nine-year-old girl from Anchorage who was referred to us by Providence Alaska Children’s Hospital. She suffers from Turner Syndrome with low immune-globin; more surgeries required and will have a lifetime of infusions. In addition, she also suffers from cardiac problems. Her wish to go on a Disney Cruise has been arranged and the family will be taking that cruise June of this year.
In addition to the “travel trips” we also grant wishes for children who require expended stays in the hospital whose wish is for a computer so that they can stay up with their home work.
These types of wishes prove to be very expensive. We often provide roundtrip airfares, lodging for up to seven nights, ground transportation, and spending money for the wish children and their families’ sometimes numbering a total of eight.