Make-A-Wish Ball 2018
text by Hollie Costello photos by Loren Anderson
Top: Attendees on the dance floor. Bottom left: Kevin Donahue and Mike Fitch with Wish Kid Michael. Bottom right: Wish Kid Michael on the dance floor.
Make-A-Wish® Arizona is pleased to announce that the 2018 Make-A-Wish Arizona Wish Ball, presented by Phusion Projects, raised approximately $3 million in a single night. The funds will help grant 300 future wishes to local children facing serious medical conditions, thanks in large part to a combined $1.5 million donation from Bob and Renee Parsons and The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation.
“There are three things that bring happiness to our lives: someone to love, having a purpose and something to look forward to. It’s this third thing that Make-A-Wish Arizona brings to our Arizona Wish Kids,” said businesswoman and philanthropist Renee Parsons. “When we have something to look forward to, something special, that makes us feel special, miracles can happen. This is what Make-A-Wish is all about.”
Jill Krigsten Riley and Mari Lederman co-chaired this year’s sold-out event and developed the theme, A Wish Come True, that was enjoyed by the 1,000 guests in attendance. Thanks to corporate sponsorships – like Title Sponsor Phusion Projects, Superstar Sponsors The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation and Discover – 100 percent of the dollars raised Friday night will be used to grant wishes to local children and families.
“I was in awe of the generosity of our guests, and the impact that generosity will have on future wish kids right here in Arizona,” said Elizabeth Reich, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish Arizona. “It is our vision to reach every eligible child in Arizona and provide them with wish experiences that can transform their lives. Events like our Wish Ball prove that others are invested in our vision as well.”
At this year’s Wish Ball, Make-A-Wish Arizona honored Renee Parsons, who has played a critical role in the growth of the chapter over the past six years as a member of the Board of Directors. During her speech, Renee pledged $1 million from The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation toward future wishes. The Parsons donated an additional $300,000 from the Foundation later in the event, and $200,000 personally during the live auction. Long-time donors, the Parsons have gifted more than $9 million to Make-A-Wish Arizona, including the donation of The Parsons Wish House, which more than tripled the organization’s physical space.
Wish Ball also included a wish kid moment, silent and live auctions and musical entertainment. More than nine wish families were in attendance to speak to guests about the transformational power of a wish.
“Our wish kid ambassadors were treated like celebrities by our guests, which made the experience even more special for them,” said Reich. “To see so many people engaged with our mission and our wish kids was inspirational, creating a night that was a wish come true for our chapter.”
To learn more about Make-A-Wish Arizona and how to get involved, visit www.arizona.wish.org