Dear Make-A-Wish Friends,
A child’s wish is a joyful journey, enriched along the way by dozens of magical moments. For eight-year-old Colleen O’Brien, these magical moments were filled with sunshine, fresh air, and the ocean. Colleen’s wish to visit York Beach, Maine, was fulfilled 25 years ago in July of 1987, marking the commencement of our journey: the beginning of Make-A-Wish® Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
Twenty-five summers later, we have granted over 6,000 wishes, leading seriously ill children and their families across Massachusetts and Rhode Island to renewed hope, strength, and joy. It has been a journey of growth
and many magical moments for our organization and for our wish families, and we are grateful to you for helping the joy to continue year after year. In this issue of The Well Wisher, you will meet McKinley, who wished to go to Walt Disney World® Resort. In sharing her reflections with us, McKinley’s mother wrote, “Make-A-Wish gave us the trip of a lifetime! McKinley was a ball of energy and fun; we have never seen her this excited! It was awesome and emotional to think about where we were and how far we had come. It was overwhelming and truly magical for our family.”
McKinley and her family were deeply impacted by her wish experience, and her mother’s comments convey the true power of a wish and why we remain dedicated to making every eligible child’s wish come true. From Colleen’s shoreside vacation to the magical wishes we are working to grant in this milestone year, the timeless power of a wish endures. We ask that you continue the journey with us as we work to bring our 25-year tradition of hope, strength, and joy to the next generation of wish children in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
Steve Barnes, Chairman, Board of Directors
Charlotte A. Beattie, Chief Executive Officer
A Record-Breaking Success: The 2012 Make-A-Wish Gala
On April 28, 2012, Make-A-Wish® Massachusetts and Rhode Island celebrated its 25th Anniversary in the company of over 500 supporters and friends at The 2012 Make-A-Wish Gala at the InterContinental Boston.
Wish children and their families shared their stories with the audience through moving speeches, videos, and even dance. Liz Brunner of WCVB-TV Channel 5 emceed the event, and her ABC colleague, Chris Connelly, host of ESPN’s My Wish series, joined Liz in sharing reflections on the Make-A-Wish mission.
With videos looking back on 25 years of wishes — and even a special appearance from New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski — the evening offered a meaningful retrospective on the past and an
inspiring launch of the next 25 years of wish granting. Through event
sponsorships, auctions, a diamond raffle, and “Fund-A-Wish,” it was a
record-breaking event, raising over $1 million to fulfill wishes!
Kraft Family Honored
We were privileged to present the 25th Anniversary Wish Hero Award to the Kraft Family at The 2012 Make-A-Wish Gala. Established in 2007, the Wish Hero Award recognizes an individual or organization whose heroic efforts and unwavering support bring hope, strength, and joy to our wish children.
As longtime, compassionate partners, New England Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft and his family warmly host children from our communities and across the country to fulfill Patriots-related wishes, and provide tremendous financial support and resources to our organization. Their extraordinary generosity and deep belief in the
power of wishes to change children’s lives make the Krafts champions of
our mission and true Wish Heroes.
Steve and Deborah Barnes
Josh and Anita Bekenstein
The Nelson Family Foundation
Hal and Jodi Hess
Jonathan and Jeannie Lavine
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP
Click here to view more photos from the
2012 Make-A-Wish Gala.