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Kaleb Gets Clubhouse, Plays Ball With ‘The Great Hambino’

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(credit: CBS) Matt Brickman
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Gallery: Make-A-Wish Unveil’s Kaleb’s Clubhouse

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – It’s a wish that was weeks in the making. A little boy named Kaleb wanted a clubhouse like the one in his favorite movie, “The Sandlot.” So WCCO teamed up with Make-A-Wish Minnesota to make his dream a reality.

It’s part of Accomplish Minnesota, where we try to bring together people in need, with those who want to help.

The construction started about a month ago up on the ‘CCO Rooftop, but once the clubhouse arrived in Gaylord, the scope of the wish began to come clear.

“To see that shot of it coming over the house is pretty amazing,” said Bob Gardner.

Gardner Builders went all out in constructing Kaleb’s wish.

“We’ve got a baseball bat awning with baseball bats donated by the Minnesota Twins and St. Paul Saints,” Gardner said.

It didn’t stop there.

“You’ve got baseball handles which lock the door,” Gardner said.

Instead of a standard railing, they designed something specifically for a baseball fanatic, with cutouts in the shape of bats and baseballs. But Gardner was quick to point out, it wasn’t all their doing.

“You know a lot of these elements are things that he designed with his dad,” Gardner said.

Their ideas shone through. From a hammock beneath the clubhouse to a fireman’s pole and a tire swing made from an old Corvette tire from Kaleb’s dad, Willie.

What was still to come for Kaleb might have been even more exciting.

“With Coborn’s, prior to the wish, we actually had some in store fundraising to help enhance Kaleb’s wish with some toys and some fun posters,” said Michael Sargent, the brand manager at Kretschmar.

“We also have Patrick Renna, ‘The Great Hambino’ from ‘The Sandlot,’” Sargent said.

Not only did Kaleb get to meet the star of his favorite movie, Renna was right by his side as his wish was revealed.

Like any typical 7-year old, the first thing Kaleb did was climb to the top of his new bunk beds. Kaleb also grabbed one of the toys that filled his new clubhouse, a giant squirt gun, and soaked “The Great Hambino” along with several people in the crowd that had gathered for the wish reveal.

Once the excitement of the wish was revealed, Kaleb settled right back into being a kid and doing what he loves: playing baseball with his new friend, “The Great Hambino.”

On top of Kaleb’s wish, Kretschmar Deli, a national partner of Make-A-Wish, teamed up with Coborn’s to raise an additional $28,000 to help grant more wishes for Minnesota kids.

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