Make-A-Wish® Arizona Wish Ball raises more than $2.1 million to help fund 320+ future wishes.
Make-A-Wish® Arizona, the founding chapter of Make-A-Wish, raised more than $2.1 million during the 2017 Make-A-Wish Arizona Black & White Wish Ball presented by Good Night Pediatrics. Proceeds from the event, held on Saturday, March 25, will help grant approximately 320+ future Arizona wishes.
The 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, has long been a significant event for the chapter. This year, more than 800 people attended the event organized by co-chairs Andrea Stewart-Pritchett, Katie Wilson and Evon Yaro-Fig.
The event was mission-focused, featuring seven Arizona wish kids and their wish stories, including highlighted wish kid Jamie, 14, who wished to go to Costa Rica after beating cancer. Her video and speech to the crowd received a standing ovation.
The evening also featured an exciting live auction, which included two unique opportunities for attendees: the chance to be written into a best-selling novel by author Clive Cussler and the potential to win a Harley-Davidson Street 500c and a tattoo with Bob Parsons, founder of The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation and owner of Harley-Davidson of Scottsdale.
“Make-A-Wish is about so much more than granting wishes, it’s about bringing the healing power of hope to some very special kids,” said businesswoman and philanthropist, Renee Parsons. “Bob and I are happy to provide our support and bring a little joy to Wish families.”
Cussler’s and Parsons’ auction items were especially poignant thanks to generous match offers from each of them during the bidding. Cussler’s item raised a total of $270,000, with two bidders winning the prize and Cussler matching the $90,000 winning bid.
Parsons offered up not only the Harley-Davidson, but also a Bob’s Biker Blast experience, complete with VIP tickets and on-stage invitation. The items raised $67,000 total, which was matched by Bob and Renee Parsons. In addition, Bob and Renee stunned guests with a surprise announcement to match all Fund-A-Wish donations. Combined, support by the Parsons during the Wish Ball topped $650,000 for future Arizona wishes.
“The excitement of the match from Bob and Renee, plus the generosity of all our attendees, made this year one of the most successful years ever for future Arizona wish kids,” said Elizabeth Reich, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish Arizona. “With the money raised during our event, we can grant an additional 320+ wishes, providing hope, strength and joy to more wish kids and their families than ever before.”