By Kevin Johnson, Herald Writer
Wishes do come true.
After months of collecting donations and weeks of renovating the baseball field, South Whidbey High School, the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Whidbey Island community are ready to unveil Colton Wilson’s wish.
The unveiling of the newly renovated field will take place at 7 tonight at South Whidbey High School in Langley. The ceremony will include a plaque presentation, ceremonial first pitch, one inning of baseball played on the new field, music and entertainment by local country radio station 100.7 The Wolf, and much more.
“It will have a real ballpark feel,” Jessie Elenbaas, Wilson’s Make-A-Wish coordinator, said about the festivities.
“I think it’s going to be a really neat night,” South Whidbey head baseball coach Dave Guetlin said.
In July 2006, Wilson, a 16-year-old South Whidbey catcher, was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare disease in which cancer cells are found in the bone or soft tissue. Wilson’s was found in the tibia of his right leg.
In February Wilson was granted a wish by the Make-A-Wish foundation. His wish stunned everyone when he asked for the high school baseball field that he and his teammates play on be renovated. It also struck at the hearts of people all over the Northwest.
Sports Illustrated wrote about him on the magazine’s website. He was featured on just about every local TV news show, Fox Sports Northwest and Seattle radio stations.
People everywhere wanted to support Wilson and his wish, even opposing teams.
During a regular season game against the Cedarcrest Red Wolves, Wilson and Guetlin were presented with an envelope with more than $400 in checks from the parents of the Cedarcrest baseball team.
“It was just amazing. It blew everybody away,” Guetlin said.
Now the time has come to present Wilson with his wish. There has been a lot of talk about this evening.
“There’s a lot of buzz. Everybody wants to learn about this interesting and unique wish,” said Elenbaas.
And Guetlin expects there to be a lot of emotion too.
“It’s unbelievable the stories that have come out of this,” Guetlin said, “It’s touched so many people.”