Miami, FL – Sun Sports and its Miami HEAT broadcast team were honored by Make-A-Wish Southern Florida as its “Media Partner of the Year” at the nonprofit’s recent donor appreciation event at Jungle Island. The t
elevision network was responsible for granting Tyler’s wish to be a HEAT broadcaster and also aired several features spotlighting Make-A-Wish’s work with some of the more than 500 local children who had dreams come true during the past year.
“We’re indebted to everyone who helps us bring happiness into the lives of children andfamilies coping with difficult circumstances,” said Norman Wedderburn, Make-A-Wish Southern Florida president & CEO. "Sun Sports and the HEAT organization enabled us to provide a life-altering wish experience that empowered not only the child, but also his family and all those connected to his special night.”
Tyler, then a 15-year-old with leukemia, arrived at the AmericanAirlines Arena for his broadcast debut on April 18, 2012 in chauffeur-driven limousine and immediately joined the announcing team to prep for the game. He was on the air with Eric Reid and Tony Fiorentino during the 2nd quarter of the game against the Toronto Raptors and worked with sideline reporter Jason Jackson during the pregame, halftime, and postgame segments. Tyler interviewed LeBron James courtside, visited the production truck, got a behind-the-scenes look at how the TV broadcast is produced, and sat along the baseline when he wasn’t on the air. Dwyane Wade visited with him on the postgame show and gave him a game-worn jersey and Tyler also met HEAT president Pat Riley.
“Anyone who has ever met Tyler cannot help but immediately be infused with his enthusiasm and inspired by his courage,” said Ted Ballard, the Miami HEAT’s executive director of broadcasting. “Taking part in his wish allowed each of us involved with the broadcast the opportunity to realize a dream together.”
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, YouTube, and Instagram.
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