Nexstar & Make-A-Wish East Tennessee send local boy to Zoo Atlanta

(WJHL) – News Channel 11 and its parent company, Nexstar Media Group, are helping make a Tri-Cities boy’s wish come true.

Make-A-Wish East Tennessee joined News Channel 11 Monday on the First at 4 to celebrate 6-year-old Elias’ wish come true.

Elias’ mother, Kristie Delmar, told News Channel 11 that he loves animals so Make-A-Wish East Tennessee is sending him and his family to Zoo Atlanta and the Georgia Aquarium.

“This is going to mean a lot to be able to just go and just enjoy each other and celebrate life,” Delmar said.

“Just the smile on his face and the joy that you see in his whole family that they are getting ready to go on this trip on Wednesday down to Atlanta to the zoo and the aquarium, he loves animals. It’s going to be an incredible time,” said Make-A-Wish East Tennessee president and CEO Garrett Wagley.

Wagley said the local chapter of Make-A-Wish is only able to grant wishes like Elias’ with the help of local donors.

To help send Elias and his family off, representatives from Brights Zoo came to News Channel 11’s studio. They brought with them Alice the penguin to take part in the celebration.

Alice is one of the zoo’s more social penguins, and representatives of the zoo said they were thrilled to be able to take part in the occasion.

WJHL Vice President and General Manager Paula Jackson joined Elias and his family in the studio Monday to mark the granting of his wish.

“It’s amazing,” Jackson said. “The company, this is what they do. They do things for special people in our community, and it’s just such a pleasure to meet Elias and his family. I know the zoo is going to be a different place once he leaves there.”

Last year, News Channel 11 and Make-A-Wish East Tennessee worked together to raise more than $100,000 for local children’s wishes during a telethon.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to WJHL | Tri-Cities News & Weather.