Team Members & Customers Come Together To Build Pool for Wish Kid

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Many say if you’re fortunate enough to give back, you should. City Electric Supply (CES) has done just that by making a child’s wish come true with the help of customers and Make-A-Wish® (MAW) Eastern North Carolina. This local chapter serves all medically eligible children who reside in the 49 counties east of the Orange/Alamance County line. 

And thanks to CES team members and customers, one lucky kid was able to receive an awesome wish right in his backyard.

Connecting to Give Back

Avery Hill, branch manager of CES Chapel Hill, has lost family members to cancer. To this day, he’s always made an effort to spread awareness of the disease. He has always wanted to do more. A chance encounter at CES Connect 2022 led Avery to do just that.

“While I was in Orlando for our bi-annual conference, I ran into Karen Gray,” said Hill.

Karen Gray is the social impact manager of CES Cares, the social impact division of City Electric Supply, who oversees all philanthropic initiatives.

“Avery approached me at the conference and expressed his desire to give back to those battling critical illnesses and asked how he could get involved,” said Gray.

From there, Karen connected Avery with MAW representatives in his area.

“Karen reached out to MAW and got us three or four different projects that we could work on for local wish kids,” added Hill.

When Avery saw a boy named Connor’s wish, he knew he found his new passion project.

“CES has given us an avenue to give back,” Hill explained, “and I wanted to do my part.”

Through CES Cares, Avery set out to make a wish kid’s dreams a reality. 

Facilitating a Wish

“When we learned about Connor,” said Hill, “he was commuting long hours for months at a time for his cancer treatments.” 

Due to his grueling schedule and the side effects of his treatment, Connor missed out on time with his mom, grandparents, stepdad, sisters, and close friends doing fun activities, especially anywhere near water. So, when Connor thought about his wish, he wanted something that he would be able to share with others.

“He wanted something that the entire family could use, not just him,” said Bob “Pop” Cunningham, Connor’s grandfather.

That’s where the idea of a pool came about.

The pool was a great idea. With Connor’s cancer and him not being about to move around a lot, it gave him an oasis right in his backyard,” added Cunningham.

Building Connor’s Pool: The Process

Soon after, Avery met up with Bob to begin working on building the pool for Connor.

“Grandpa Bob and I were the first ones on the jobsite. We dug the ditches around the pool,” said Hill. 

To grant Connor’s wish, CES provided all the electrical materials for the pool. 

“We used a sub-feed panel from the interior of the house, and had to set a breaker there, which came from our Conway location,” said Hill. “Then, I went to CES Leland to get UF cable, so our branch team divided and conquered driving to several locations to get the cable and breaker. Both of those CES locations took very good care of us. With no hesitation, they gave us the material we needed to get the job done.”

Avery then called on long-time customer and friend, Danny Evans Jr. of D.W. Evans Electric to help provide electricians and labor for the installations.

“Avery and I are really good friends, so when he approached me about the project, it sounded like a great thing to be a part of,” said Evans.

Danny’s team helped move the project forward with the installations and made sure the build-out was up to code with Brunswick County.

The entire process took place on a Wednesday, and on Thursday, the inspection for the pool was conducted. 

“They were a well-oiled machine,” Cunningham said of Hill and Evans. “The guys were extremely professional and took care of everything.”

Making Dreams Come True

Make-A-Wish grants life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses —bringing hope and joy to families when they need it most. Seeing Connor’s joy made a real impact on everyone involved.

“You could see it on his face,” said Hill. “The youth are our future, and kids are a gift we should treasure. I strongly advocate just getting involved with Make-A-Wish. CES is willing to support you. Even if you don’t do it through CES, at the end of the day, it’s important to give back.”

And making a difference in a child’s life like Connor’s was the icing on the cake.

“We could tell Connor was really excited,” Evans laughed. “His sister was more excited than he was!”

Connor was brought home from school early by Grandpa Bob so that he could see his new pool. The weather at the time was a bit too chilly to jump right in, but he was extremely excited.

“Connor was absolutely speechless,” said Cunningham. 

Connor, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2019, is now in remission. 

“It’s been a long journey,” said Cunningham. “But Connor’s playing baseball, and this summer, he was taking piano lessons.”

Getting Involved with CES Cares

Avery appreciates that CES Cares connects team members with organizations that resonate.

“I encourage everyone to reach out to local charities and find something they might want to do,” Hill said.

Karen Gray, Social Impact Manager of CES Cares, is here to help all CES team members get involved with causes they care about. She and her colleagues are just a phone call or an email away. Not only that but those with a CES Cares account can easily search for opportunities online.

“We want to give a huge thank you to everyone who put their time and energy into this project,” said Gray. “It takes a very kind and giving heart to do things like this. The payoff to this wish kid can’t even be measured. The amount of joy you’re bringing to someone’s life is amazing, and this will change Connor’s life. We want you to know that you were a part of something that elevates somebody’s life, and you’re bringing light to a difficult situation.”

“For CES to let me not only run a branch location but also encourage me to give back—it’s amazing to have that support,” said Hill.

And CES working together with Make-A-Wish strengthened their partnership and made an even bigger impact on the community.

“We are humbled to have such meaningful partnerships like this with City Electric Supply. Our vision is to reach every eligible child in our chapter area with the hope and joy of a wish come true. We could not do that without the support of caring individuals like Avery Hill and businesses like CES that believe in the power of community,” said Laura Jasmine, Director of Wish Granting for Make-A-Wish Eastern North Carolina.

“Together, we create life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. And together, we celebrate wishes like Connor’s and the far-reaching impact that experience has on not only the child and their family but on all the members of our wish community who unite to be part of inspiring hope,” Jasmine added.

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