Miami, FL – The Jose Wejebe Spanish Fly Memorial Foundation, based in Summerland Key, was recognized with Make-A-Wish Southern Florida’s “In-Kind Angel” award at the wish-granting organization’s donor appreciation event in Miami. The Wejebe Foundation’s numerous contributions helped Make-A-Wish grant its 9,000th local wish earlier this year and the wishes of six other children who have life-threatening medical conditions during the last 12 months.
“We’re indebted to everyone who helps us bring happiness into the lives of children and families coping with difficult circumstances,” said Norman Wedderburn, Make-A-Wish Southern Florida president & CEO. "Krissy Wejebe has done a magnificent job carrying on her dad’s legacy of kindness to our children and enabling them to have fishing experiences in the Keys that only the foundation named in his honor could deliver.”
That was the case when Michael, a 12-year-old from Fort Pierce who suffers with a heart condition called Ventricular Septal Defect, wished to go deep-sea fishing to “see sea creatures and tropical fish.” According to Wedderburn, Michael’s wish, the 9,000th granted in South Florida, wouldn’t have been possible without the efforts of the Wejebe Foundation, which arranged charters, lodging, meals, and outfitted the entire family with clothes and gear. While Michael had only wished to go fishing, the bigger picture is that he and his family enjoyed a vacation in Monroe County that provided a much-needed respite from his medical issues.
“It has been an honor working with Make-A-Wish,” said Jose Wejebe Spanish Fly Memorial Foundation President Krissy Wejebe, “and special for us to be part of the wishes granted to Tyler, Tommy, Michael, Alex, Bradley, Michael, and Ryan. Jose always said, ‘You truly get more than you give’ and that’s been our experience with these wonderful children. We look forward to helping grant many more wishes.”
The Jose Wejebe Spanish Fly Memorial Foundation was created to honor Jose’s inspiration, dedication and passion for the marine environment and to continue his efforts to support those with life-impacting challenges. Established in the time following his tragic passing, and led by Jose’s daughter, Krissy, the foundation grants fishing wishes and is involved in charitable work throughout the Florida Keys that honors Jose’s spirit and desire to make a difference.
Celebrating its 30th year of wish-granting, Make-A-Wish Southern Florida has delivered more than 9,000 wishes to children who have life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength, and joy. Wish kids most often ‘wish to be’ (something), ‘wish to meet’ (someone), ‘wish to go’ (somewhere), or ‘wish to have’ (something) and the nonprofit organization makes this happen for the child and his/her entire family at no cost to them.
The Southern Florida chapter grants a wish every 16 hours, at an average cost of $5,000, and is committed to making a dream come true for every medically-eligible child in its territory, which includes 13 Florida counties and the U.S. Virgin Islands. It completes its mission without federal or state funding, raising money through corporate sponsorships, special events, foundation grants, and individual contributions. For more information, to make a donation, volunteer or refer a child, call (888) 773-WISH or connect at www.sfla.wish.org and on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
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