2 ½ year-old Madison girl’s UW Marching Band wish comes true

Ila wonders if her stuffed toy Bucky would fit in the sousaphone’s bell of Josh Richlen, drum...
Ila wonders if her stuffed toy Bucky would fit in the sousaphone’s bell of Josh Richlen, drum major and tuba player.(University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Published: Apr. 23, 2022 at 12:25 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Ila Hellgren is a 2 ½ year-old-girl whose wish came true after she got to see the UW Varsity Band’s spring concert rehearsal on Thursday, thanks to Make-A-Wish Wisconsin.

Hellgren is a liver transplant recipient who enjoyed morning bike rides with her father while she was undergoing medical treatments. During their rides, they would stop to watch the UW Marching Band practice.

Her parents said the little girl enjoyed the music so much, she would march along and try to play with them.

After Make-A-Wish Wisconsin heard about her story, they contacted Corey Pompey, the UW Marching Band director. The duo worked together to surprise Hellgren by giving her an up-close sneak peek at the marching band’s rehearsal at the Kohl Center, UW-Madison said.

The surprise was part of the “Make-A-Wish boost” program, which offers children a small surprise while they await their official wish. For Hellgren, that wish is a pontoon boat.

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