(January 12, 2016 -SWFL) – The 10th Annual Wishmaker’s Ball benefitting Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida was a magical and shining night of success with more than 240 guests in attendance. The annual fundraiser was held on Saturday, January 9 at the Quail West Golf and Country Club and raised $210,000 to grant the wishes of local children with life-threatening medical conditions.
The night began with a cocktail reception and silent auction followed by dinner, awards, live auction and dancing.
Rick and Brenda Brown of the Brown Realty Group served as the Ball chairs. They welcomed guests to the sold-out gala. Norm Wedderburn, President/CEO of Make-A-Wish Southern Florida, spoke about the importance of a wish in a child’s life and thanked the Browns for so graciously sharing their time, talent and treasures with Make-A-Wish. He also recognized Norman and Mary Love for their continued support and presented them with the “Magic Wand” award.
This year’s honored wish family shared their story during “The Magic of My Wish” portion of the event program. Seven-year-old Elizabeth, who battles Lymphoid Leukemia, was recently granted her wish to visit Walt Disney World® with her family. They spent a week exploring the parks and meeting her favorite characters. She said the best part was not waiting in any lines. Robert, her father, said the best part was seeing a huge smile on Elizabeth’s face every day and the joy that only a wish can bring.
Rick Gallo, chairman of the Make-A-Wish President’s Council, and Amy Sedlacek, immediate past co-chair, teamed up for the Adopt-A-Wish portion of the evening, allowing guests the opportunity to raise their paddles to fund the wishes of local children.
The Presenting Sponsor of the Ball was Fidelity Private Wealth Management. Thank you also to Platinum Sponsors: LeeSar, Rick & Brenda Brown - The Brown Realty Group; Gold Sponsors: Arthrex and FineMark National Bank and Trust; Silver Sponsors: McKesson Corporation and Wheels for Wishes; Wish Child Sponsor: Smiles by Hale; Bronze Sponsor: Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida; and In-Kind Sponsors: Artichoke & Company, AV Media, Inc., Charlie McDonald Photography, Dance Arts by Maria, Inc., Event Production and Design Studios, Go Platinum Transportation, Naples Illustrated, Naples Princess and Norman Love Confections.
“The generosity of donors in Southwest Florida is amazing,” said Norm Wedderburn, President/CEO of Make-A-Wish Southern Florida. “The community comes together to fund wishes that will touch the lives of not only wish children, but also their families and our volunteers.”
Make-A-Wish Southern Florida grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. The Southern Florida chapter grants a wish every 16 hours and has granted more than 10,000 wishes since its inception in 1983. The chapter’s vision is to make every eligible child’s wish come true. For more information about Make-A-Wish, visit www.sfla.wish.org or call 239-992-9474 to get involved.