As 30 Wish Ambassadors filed onto the stage, representing each year that Make-A-Wish Illinois has been granting wishes in Illinois, every one of the more than 1,000 Wish Ball attendees felt the full effect of the life-changing impact of a wish. This was just one of many moving moments during the organization’s largest annual fundraiser held on May 21, 2016 at Navy Pier and presented by CDW
“I’m glad I can say thank you. Not just for me and my wish, but for thousands of kids who are getting sick and starting treatment right now. What they don’t know, what they are about to find out, is that all of you are here. And, you are going to make the impossible possible for them,” Wish Alum Maya Gray
of Chicago said to top sponsors in a pre-event reception address.
During the main program, emcee Cheryl Scott
, ABC 7 Meteorologist, introduced Nick DiBrizzi
, another wish recipient whose wish to meet actor Joe Pesci was granted in 2000.
“I am here with you tonight because of my wish. It was something my whole family needed. They needed to see the possibilities in my future and I needed to share with them the hope and strength the wish brought to me,” DiBrizzi shared in one of the most poignant moments of the evening.
More than $2.3 million was raised through contributions, live and silent auctions and a raffle held at Wish Ball for Make-A-Wish Illinois, making it a record-breaking evening. The event also included a special performance by actor, comedian, writer and producer Paul Reiser
before culminating in post-event festivity with live music on the pier’s Lakeview Terrace Rooftop.
Wish Ball celebrated the many years of Imagination Made Possible, and the continued efforts to Reach the Stars – the more than 1,000 children who are newly diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition every year. This inspiring evening raises critical financial support for the Make-A-Wish mission of enriching lives with hope, strength and joy. In addition to presenting sponsor CDW, the evening is also supported by Platinum Sponsors: Advocate Heath Care, DLA Piper, Ergotron, GATX Corporation, MARC USA, UGN, Inc., and Unum.