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Make-A-Wish(R) Raises More Than 3 Million Miles for Local Kids Through Annual Drive

COLUMBUS, Ohio, April 22, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Make-A-Wish® Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana has tallied up the frequent flier miles collected during the organization's annual Air Miles Drive, held Tuesday, April 14, and the results are in: 3 million miles were generously donated by leisure and business travelers throughout Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. This exceeds the collection goal of 2 million miles.

"The miles collected through this year's drive will allow for more than 65 wish flights for area kids and their families," said Sophia Morton, vice president of program services for Make-A-Wish Ohio, Kentucky & Indiana. "Flights are one of our greatest expenses at Make-A-Wish, which makes the Air Miles Drive an essential component of our fundraising efforts. We are tremendously thankful for the donations from area community members."

More than 75 percent of the wishes Make-A-Wish grants require air travel, making it a costly resource. In fact, airline travel comprises 80 percent of expenses at Make-A-Wish. The exact count for the 2015 drive registered at 3,046,241 donated airline miles.

Volunteers, wish kids and their families stood by to collect Delta and United Airlines miles by phone and via an online donation hub. The minimum donation was 500 miles for United and 1,000 miles for Delta. Among this year's donors was Cincinnati Bengals defensive end, Michael Johnson, who gave 50,000 of his miles to help make more wishes come true. He issued a social media video challenge to friends and teammates encouraging them to give what they could.

"I've had the opportunity to do a lot of traveling personally and professionally and felt that giving miles to Make-A-Wish was an easy way for me to make a big difference in the lives of local kids," said Johnson. "My dream of playing professional football has come true; I hope that my miles will bring a smile to kids' faces and help ensure their wishes are granted."

Make-A-Wish also accepted cash donations to help cover travel expenses and fees including: baggage, luggage, passports, trip insurance, oxygen concentrators and limo services.

Continue Supporting Make-A-Wish: Beyond the one-day Air Miles Drive, Make-A-Wish Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana will continue to collect frequent flier miles and cash donations as part of its "Wishes in Flight" campaign. Visit http://oki.wish.org/ways-to-help/giving/airline-miles to donate.

Make-A-Wish relies on the support of the community to grant wishes locally. For more information on ways to help, visit oki.wish.org, call 1-877-206-9474 or Follow Us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @makeawishohkyin.

About Make-A-Wish® Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana

Make-A-Wish® Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. Currently, there are more than 1,100 children in the tri-state area waiting for their wish to come true. You can help share the power of a wish® by making a donation, volunteering, or referring a child. For more information, visit our website at oki.wish.org or call 1-877-206-9474.

CONTACT: Media contact: Maddie Lange Make-A-Wish(R) Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana 614-763-6240 direct maddiel@makeawishohio.org Megan Shroy Approach PR & Marketing 614-507-6203 cell meganshroy@approachonline.comSource: Make-A-Wish(R)Ohio,Kentucky&Indiana