GUILFORD, Maine — A Guilford woman was recognized for her giving spirit Saturday when the Make-A-Wish Foundation presented her the Brendan Batson Award.
Courtney Davis, 19, had been told that her father, Anthony “Tony” Davis, was to receive a Masonic award, but when she arrived, she learned that she was the honoree.
“Courtney’s efforts in memory of her brother Michael and on behalf of Make-A-Wish are a shining example of youth engaging within their local communities and making a difference in the lives of others,” Kate Vickery, program director for Make-A-Wish Foundation of Maine, said Saturday.
When Davis’ beloved brother Michael became terminally ill, the Make-A-Wish Foundation provided the Davis family with an all-expense-paid trip to Disney World. Before Michael died in March 2007, he told family members he wished he could repay the organization for the trip, a wish Courtney Davis never forgot.
During her junior year at Piscataquis Community High School, Davis sent an e-mail to the Make-A-Wish Foundation asking whether it would host a walk she planned in memory of her brother, and to lift the spirits of her mother, Patti Davis, according to Vickery.
With the organization’s blessing, Courtney Davis organized the event and raised more than $900. Not long afterward, she became determined to raise enough to grant another ill child a wish. She organized a hat day at school, a spaghetti supper and another walk, and those fundraising events, along with local donations, amounted to more than $7,000 in one year. She continues to volunteer for the organization, Vickery said.
Vickery said Davis’ donation was enough to send a Charleston girl and her family to Hawaii to fulfill the ill girl’s wish.
The average cost of a wish is $6,000, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation grants one about every five days to children who have life-threatening medical conditions, according to Vickery.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation wasn’t alone in praising Davis’ efforts. Her twin, Christine Davis, read a paper she wrote for college that noted that Courtney had been a great influence on her and had taught her to be the best she could be no matter how hard life is.