Watch Fox 5 WTTG and Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic Make a Little Girl’s Dream Come True

"In a time like now, when there’s a lot of bad news, everyone is really excited to put on a day that is filled with hope and good news."

The face of the final subject of Fox 5 WTTG’s Season of Wishes partnership with Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic is a five-year-old cancer survivor named Eden. Pictured here and in photos posted on Fox’s site, she smiles at the camera, accompanied in each photo by a stuffed unicorn–a clue to the wish that will be fulfilled on Tuesday in a daylong adventure for the little girl, tracked as it happens on TV and social media, hashtagged as #edensunicornwish.

Throughout November and December, Fox 5 has worked with Make-a-Wish Mid-Atlantic to “highlight local kids and their wishes, wishes in progress, wishes that had happened, wishes that will happen,” says Margie Ruttenberg, Fox 5 WTTG’s director of news projects and partnerships, who has been responsible for planning this final wish.

The partnership between Fox 5 WTTG and Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic grew out of vp and general manager Patrick Paolini‘s desire to tie the station’s giving efforts to work with organizations that “we could provide tangible results for.”

For Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic, Fox 5 did double-duty by helping to raise awareness and funds for the organization as well as participating in making one child’s wish come true. “[Eden’s] wish was very sweet and magical and something we thought we could pull off,” says Ruttenberg.

Eden’s day tomorrow will begin with a limo ride to the studio, where she and her sister will be outfitted like princesses–as will some Fox 5 on-air talent–and her baby brother dressed up like a prince. What follows is a series of stops that are part of a scavenger hunt that will take Eden and her family to The Washington Ballet, The White House, a fairy tale lunch and nap in a suite at The Hyatt Regency Washington, and a trip up the Smithsonian “Castle” to meet Rapunzel.

Fox 5 WTTG will broadcast the culmination of Eden’s hunt on its 5 p.m. newscast, live from the Verizon Center. There, in an open-to-the-public showcase, Eden will strut down a red carpet and be presented, finally, with her wish: a unicorn she will ride.

The unicorn is really a horse dressed up like the mythical creature, donated by a local farm. It is one of many organizations and businesses that have worked with Fox 5 and Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic to make Eden’s wish come true. “The community business support for something like this is truly amazing,” says Paolini. “I don’t think it’s a surprise, but any time you go into an event like this, you hope that people rally around it. It’s wonderful to see.”

This has also required a lot of work and coordination on Fox 5’s end. “We are using a multitude of resources, including photographers and live capabilities, to transmit from each of these locations, so there’s been a lot of planning and a lot of logistical work involved,” says Ruttenberg.

But it’s worth it for everyone involved, including a news-following audience inundated with so many dark events of late. “In a time like now, when there’s a lot of bad news, everyone is really excited to put on a day that is filled with hope and good news for a little girl who really needs hope,” says Ruttenberg. “I think that feeling is just everywhere for this and we look forward to being a part of it.”

To donate money or air miles to Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic, go here. All of tomorrow’s donations up to $500,000 will be matched.