Southbridge girl experiences mock search and rescue via Make-A-Wish

October Mountain State Forest is site of event for 9-year-old with heart condition

📷 Courtesy photos

THE BERKSHIRES — On a chilly afternoon of November 1, 9-year-old Alexandra Holt of Southbridge, completed the final part of her camping adventure in the forest wish through Make-A-Wish® Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Alex, who has been diagnosed with a life-threatening heart condition, participated in a “mock search and rescue” for a missing hiker run by 10 members of the Berkshire Mountain Search and Rescue team.

An official missing hiker form was completed for 33-year-old nurse “Stephanie Starship,” and Alex lead the search through a series of clues placed along a designated area in the October Mountain State Forest in the Berkshires. She was joined by her parents Danielle and Jason Holt and 14-year-old brother Aidan.

She took her role seriously, commanded the field of volunteers, identified all the clues, and finally found the lost hiker trapped under a large branch. At the end of the event, Alex was presented with a certificate of honor from the search-and-rescue team, “For her bravery, her dedication and her commitment to helping others with the Berkshire Mountain Search and Rescue Team as a junior volunteer.”

The experience left Alex smiling and happy. “I would love to do this again!”

“Alex, thank you for wishing for this because I think not only is it a great day for you, but I don’t know anybody who doesn’t want to be a part of helping to make a child’s wish come true. So you also gave all of these people an opportunity to bring some joy.” Said Peg Wheble, Western Massachusetts Regional Director for Make-A-Wish.

Berkshire Mountain Search and Rescue is an all volunteer, not-for-profit Search and Rescue Team as well as a Community Emergency Response Team, based in Pittsfield.


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