Wish Ball Raises $1.6 Million To Fund 160 Future Wishes.
Make-A-Wish Arizona raised more than $1.6 million during the 2016 Make-A-Wish Arizona Wish Ball, Wishes are Forever, presented by Good Night Pediatrics. Proceeds from the event, held on Saturday, April 2, will help grant more than 160 wishes.
This year’s Wish Ball, which celebrates the mission of Make-A-Wish Arizona by raising funds to grant the wishes of Arizona children with life-threatening medical conditions, included a special opportunity for the more than 740 attendees; they were all directly involved with granting a wish.
Wish kid Jayne, 13, who lives with a life-threatening neurological disorder, wished to be a fashion designer and create dresses that would help raise funds for future wish kids. Her wish was granted at the Wish Ball when four of her original designs were showcased as a live auction item with the winner of the auction receiving one design custom made by Jayne’s design mentor on the wish. The second part of Jayne’s wish, to help raise funds for future wishes, came true when not one, but two individuals each bid $4,000 to have an original Jayne creation.
“I can’t believe it,” said Jayne after her dress designs sold. “I’m so glad they liked my dresses and are helping all the wish kids like me.”
Jayne’s wish helped to launch the evening’s Fund-A-Wish activity, which was capped with a $500,000 donation from The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation. The foundation founders, Bob and Renee Parsons, pledged the half-million dollar gift as a show of continued support to the chapter and its mission.
“There is a special kind of healing power that surfaces when a wish kid’s wish is granted,” said Renee Parsons, who is also a Make-A-Wish Arizona Board Member. “There’s no greater joy than knowing we are making a difference.”
The event was capped with an energetic live auction, which included the highest bid on record for Wish Ball when a donor bid $110,000 for an opportunity to have his name written into a future Clive Cussler best seller. Mr. Cussler, a long-time supporter, agreed to match the bid on the spot – raising $220,000 on one item in the live auction.
In addition to being a fundraiser for future Arizona wishes, the event honored local law firm Quarles & Brady LLP, with the Tom and Madena Stewart Lifetime Compassion Award. The award recognizes outstanding community members who have brought honor to themselves, Make-A-Wish Arizona, and the communities where they work and live. Quarles & Brady has donated both dollars and pro bono legal work to the chapter for more than 25 years. In addition, senior leadership members of the firm have participated as board members and even board chair for fiscal year 2013.
The Wish Ball’s Wishes are Forever James Bond theme was designed by Wish Ball co-chairs Jill Krigsten and Mari Lederman.
“This evening, we spoke about having a ‘mission’ to help wish kids,” said Elizabeth Reich, Chief Executive Officer and President of Make-A-Wish Arizona. “We saw the excitement on the faces of not only our wish kid ambassadors, but also the donors and corporate partners, as we moved closer to our goal to grant the wish of every eligible child in Arizona.