CROZET, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- “We’ve got a lot of kids that are waiting for wishes,” said Michael Gallagher, a Crozet resident who participated in Make-a-Wish’s Trailblazer Challenge.

Make-a-Wish grants life-changing wishes for children every day, and some local Virginians helped grant more wishes during this year’s Trailblazer Challenge.

Participants who took part in this challenge hiked 18 miles in one day through Shenandoah National Park and raised more than $2,500 on their own.

In total, these hikers were able to raise $50,000 for children facing critical illnesses.

“We’re just blessed with so many great, outdoor resources in Virginia that I wanted to do a similar event here,” said Gallagher. 

Gallagher participated in the challenge, and while the challenge was physically demanding, he said it was so much bigger than himself.

“It’s so rewarding. You know, we think of ourselves as transforming lives one wish at a time. And to know that I am, even a small part of making a local child’s wish come true, there’s really no better feeling,” added Gallagher. 

And if hiking is not for you, there are plenty of other ways you can get involved with Make-a-Wish Greater Virginia.

“Sign up to be a volunteer, if you want to be a volunteer or wish granter, that’s super rewarding as well. You can also make personal donations or sponsor events,” added Gallagher.

To get involved in the Make-a-Wish Greater Virginia chapter, click here