SOUTHPORT, NC (WECT) - More than 20 children had their wishes granted by the United Special Sportsman Alliance (USSA) on Friday.
Captains with the Southport Marina took kids with disabilities and life-threatening illnesses and their families out for a day on the water.
"It's a blessing to be involved with them to take them out and do something like this," organizer Scott Blevins said. "It can be emotional but it's bittersweet because it's such a good day for everybody involved."
The Sanderson family celebrated their daughter Anna Beth's stable condition after she went through two years of chemotherapy. Anna Beth was diagnosed with optic nerve glioma, a form of cancer.
Her mother said the trip is a way for their family to bond, and connect with other families in similar situations.
"They're just super nice," Kim Sanderson said. "It was our second year and we're just so honored that they asked us back this year."
Anna Beth and her brother, Austin, caught several fish throughout the day, steered the boat and braved the waves.
"It just puts such a big smile on her face and it warms our heart," Kim said. "Anything that makes her happy and makes Austin happy makes us happy."
Blevins said recruiting volunteers for the event is rarely a problem.
"Twenty-three captains have donated their time," he said. "You've also got first mates. You've got the Lion's Club involved. There's probably as many volunteers as there are children and families."
USSA is an all-volunteer charity and has granted almost 12,000 free outdoor wish trips nationwide.