Making a difference, one child at a time!

July 21st & 22nd, 2024
2023 GalleryRSVP

What We Do

We bring families undergoing treatment at Sanford Children’s hospital to the Iowa Great Lakes chain of lakes for 2 days of fun, completely FREE of charge! What’s included: lodging, meals, entertainment and loads of fun, all while connecting with other Sanford families going through treatment.

Includes:  Arnolds Park Amusement Park, Bridges Bay Waterpark, Bouncelandia park, Queen II excursion boat, Bingo with prizes, and Song/Dance.   All individuals must apply to attend. Our numbers have grown and we can only take so many families. Each spring, in March/April we take applications for 30 days!  Watch our facebook page for announcements or check back on our website.

Our Story

The Secret to happiness is helping others!   Jill Harms, the founder of the program and President of Blink Marketing, was serving on the volunteer Board of Directors at Arnolds Park Amusement Park and realized what a special place it was. It makes so many families happy.  Although the Park itself is a non-profit, she also realized the Park could give back to the community.  After a friend went through a very difficult time with her child on a “Make a Wish” trip, she realized what a perfect fit our amusement park could be for other families going through treatments who cannot make a long trip away from their providers and doctors. She made a call to Sanford Children’s hospital in Sioux Falls, SD and working with other community businesses, she rallied for their help in putting together a program. In 2013, Making Waves For Children was launched! In 2023, we celebrated our 10 year anniversary, taking one year off due to COVID-19.  May our program continue to be a beacon of light for families in need, reminding us all of the profound impact that kindness and generosity can have on individuals and communities.

OUR PARTNERS


We’re thinkers, tinkerers, mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters – we’re honest people, and we appreciate honest design. Great brands mean great business, and our team offers all aspects of creative support to help you achieve and set new goals for your brand.


Sanford Health, the largest rural health system in the United States, is dedicated to transforming the health care experience and providing access to world-class health care in America’s heartland. Headquartered in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the organization serves more than one million patients and 220,000 health plan members across 250,000 square miles.


Every day, a child’s life is forever changed by an injury or unexpected diagnosis. Our mission is to increase funds and awareness for your local children’s hospital and other Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. More than 10 million kids enter a children’s hospital like your local children’s hospital across North America every year.

EST. 2013

FROM THE FAMILIES

Laura B

One of the best parts of this trip is being able to tell the kids, “yes you can ride again.” And again and again. Thank you so much for this trip! Maverick fighting Leukodystrophy and Carly fighting an autoimmune disease has meant a lot of days spent at the castle for our family. These smiles and memories mean so much. Thank you, thank you!

Karla D

We were so excited when we got the invite, but what we didn’t know, was that it was going to be the BEST ending to our already incredible week! On Thursday, we found out that our little man’s cancer was gone! He’s 2.5 and was diagnosed with a Wilms tumor at the age of 10 months. We’ve had a blast here so far and are excited for another day today! What a way to celebrate! Thank you!

AJ M

AJ has Spastic Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy and doesn’t sit, walk, eat, or stand unassisted. We played hooky from therapy to hang out today it was amazing. SPECIAL THANKS TO MAKING WAVES AND HOTEL STAFF FOR MAKING EVERYTHING ACCESSIBLE TO AJ JUNIOR and so much fun for our family. His favorite was things were swimming and Bingo!

Kimberly D

My little family had the best time!!! Thank you ALL for the immense kindness, wonderful experience, and the most incredible memories!

our generous

2023 SPONSORS

Iesha Toft • GrapeTree Medical Staffing • Boji Spudz • The Three Sons • Lakes Marketing and Print • Bank Midwest • Farmers Insurance • Allure & Co. • Godfather’s Pizza • Steve & Janine Huss