When Make-A-Wish Connecticut contacted Hemlock Hill RV about 6-year-old Silas Peyre’s wish for a family camper, the Southington, Connecticut, dealership made it come true with a Keystone RV Hideout bunkhouse model.
Michelle Andro, head of marketing and communications at Hemlock Hill RV, said the family dealership has partnered with Make-A-Wish Connecticut since 1999.
“It started with my father,” Michelle said of Ray Andro, who founded Hemlock Hill RV in 1976 and passed away last summer from cancer. Years ago, Ray saw someone at a trade show win a prize and immediately donate it to Make-A-Wish. He decided to follow that example with the family’s Connecticut branch back home.
Since, Hemlock Hill RV has donated more than $400,000 to Make-A-Wish Connecticut, both in financial support and in kind, with RVs and parts donations.
Their latest donation went to Peyre, who was diagnosed with cancer last year and now is in remission. He wanted an RV with bunkbeds for him and his 5-year-old sister, Audrina.
Michelle said her dad once personally granted a child’s wish by taking him and his family deep-sea fishing in Ray Andro’s boat, which he bought in the Florida Keys after retiring in 2005. Ray Andro kept in touch with that child, who is now a healthy adult, and the recipient came to Ray Andro’s funeral last year.
“We were part of the child’s life and his memories,” Michelle Andro said. “We are hoping to give that to Silas.”
Peyre arrived at the Hemlock Hill RV dealership Feb.1 in a limo, escorted by state police. His family’s new Hideout bunkhouse was stocked with personalized pillows, sleeping bags, fishing bowls and s’mores supplies. Michelle Andro said Peyre’s eyes lit up and his family was grateful.
RVDA Chairman Chris Andro is the general manager/partner at Hemlock Hill RV, recently finished a renovation and re-opened Jan. 11. Michelle Andro said, “We started off the year with a clean slate and brand-new dealership. What better way to make a wish come true.”
After painting the facility and putting in new floors, the dealership is having a “renovation celebration” sale until Feb. 21.