Raising $1.8 million, Wish Ball 2013 was emceed by ABC Chicago's Windy City LIVE cohosts Val Warner and Ryan Chiaverini and featured a special performance by Martin Short.
Wish Parents Mike and Melinda Kintz of Batavia spoke of their son Alex's wish to meet Steve Carell on the set of The Office. Alex was diagnosed with osteosarcoma and became too ill to travel. His wish was granted when Steve Carell called him for an individual conversation. A gift basket of the show’s memorabilia and personalized autographs from Carrel lifted Alex’s spirits and gave him something wonderful to talk about that didn’t focus on his condition. Alex succumbed to his illness, but Carell and his wife Nancy maintained a relationship with Alex’s family.
The evening also included performances by CircEsteem, a youth group performing circus arts, as well as an abundant silent auction and a spirited live auction where a luxury New Orleans food and travel package and private tours of celebrity chef Rick Bayless’ private gardens garnered top dollar.
The Title Sponsor for Wish Ball 2013 was GATX. This annual black tie gala helps to generate revenue to support wishes granted to Illinois children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. The theme, "Where the Powers of Heroes Unite", expressed the collaborative spirit of granting wishes, where everyone who contributes is a hero.
For information about Wish Ball 2014, contact Debbie Purcell at 312.602.9424.