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Make-A-Wish Foundation creates special day for Hunter Page

Five-year-old Hunter Page of Blackduck led a parade in his honor Saturday afternoon through downtown Blackduck. The parade was part of a wish granted to him by the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Minnesota. Pioneer Photo/Bethany Wesley1 / 2
Hunter Page, 5, smiles at supporters Saturday while in the arms of Peggy Julesen, who worked with him as an early childhood special education professional, at a celebration in Blackduck. Pioneer Photo/Bethany Wesley2 / 2

Five-year-old Hunter Page had his own parade waiting for him outside his door Saturday afternoon.

There were all-terrain vehicles, fire engines, the sheriff's posse, ambulances, trucks and a crowd of community supporters there to greet him.

The parade and subsequent celebration at the wayside rest were the culmination of Hunter's wish granted by the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Minnesota.

"He was really, really excited," his mom, Nadene Page, said of Hunter's reaction.

Hunter is the son of Nadene and Brad Page. He has two step-siblings, Meggan, 25, and Jonathan, 21, and a niece, Madison.

"It took him a while to figure it out, but once he did, there was this joyful look on his face, as if to say, 'Yeah, I know what this is all about,'" said Mary May of Bemidji, a Make-a-Wish volunteer who planned the event.

Make-A-Wish is a nonprofit organization that grants wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.

"We did this to bring joy to his life," May said.

Hunter rode along in an ATV at the head of the parade, cruising around Blackduck as supporters followed him around.

"He's such a lovable little guy," May said.

Taking part in Hunter's parade were members of the Beltrami County Sheriff's Mounted Posse, the Blackduck Police Department, Kelliher and Blackduck fire departments and representatives of Bogart's Service. About 20 people took part on foot and even more supporters waited at the wayside rest to greet him at the end of the parade.

Hunter loves four-wheelers, trucks, the flashing lights, the sirens, all of those kind of , May noted.

"It was a way to bring it all together," she said.

Nadene knew of some of the plans. She was expecting a four-wheeler, the sheriff's posse and a fire truck, but was surprised herself by the enormity of it all.

"It was really quite amazing," she said. "Bigger than what I thought."

Hunter, who was born with a rare syndrome known as ATRX Syndrome, loves four-wheelers but wishes for vehicles are not allowed. In addition to the parade and celebration, he received a home theater/computer and will have DVDs made of his special day.

"Now he has his own way of going on a four-wheeler ride with everyone every single day if he wants to," May said.