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Dozens Help Lake Bluff Youngster Reach for Her Make-A-Wish Goal

Children decorated Valentine’s Day cookies to help raise funds at Panera Bread in Lake Bluff.

A Lake Bluff 11-year-old who loves hockey and listens to the Jonas Brothers is closer to viewing the world from a cruise ship thanks to help from her peers and families following a Valentine’s Day cookie decorating event Saturday at

Megan, whose last name was protected by the Make-A Wish Foundation of Illinois, was diagnosed in 2000 with cystic fibrosis, a hereditary disease affecting the entire body, causing progressive disability or worse. Among the painful, disabling symptoms are thick mucus build-up in the lungs and digestive tract.

A resilient, outwardly happy girl, Megan was surrounded by dozens of equally happy kids who stopped at Panera throughout the midday and decorated freshly baked, heart-shaped, shortbread cookies with pink, purple, red, and white creamy frostings, sprinkles and candies.

A portion of the cookie price will help pay for Megan’s family cruise.

“We actually had to bake more cookies because we ran out,” said Ashley Bartel, marketing coordinator for Panera Bread.

Lake Bluff resident Susan Rappin, who brought her three children, said the good cause came with a sweet incentive.

“We came out to decorate some really yummy cookies and support a really good cause in the Make-A-Wish Foundation,” said Rappin. “The kids did something fun and something really good by giving back at the same time.”

Bartel added that reaching out and being part of the community is important to Panera, too. The bakery-cafes, in partnership with Make-A-Wish Foundation of Illinois, works all year to raise funds to help grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.

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