Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Fundraiser for Make-A-Wish

The Make-A-Wish Foundation are a wonderful organisation dedicated to granting the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions - to, as their website says, "enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy". They really are a very special charity, and one I wholeheartedly support.
Some more info from their website tells the story:

"On June 23 1985, a life insurance salesman from Ballarat heard a speech that changed his life.

The speech, given by Jack Stanford, the then National President of Make-A-Wish America, was an impassioned tale of the magic and joy experienced by children whose dreams had come true. He also spoke of the warmth and laughter, as well as sadness and heartache, experienced by those involved in the process of granting wishes. The man from Ballarat, Les Roberts, returned to Australia inspired and determined to pursue the mission of granting wishes to sick children.

Later that year, Make-A-Wish Australia officially opened in Melbourne, and news of its good deeds spread rapidly. Soon, volunteer branches formed in cities and regional areas across the nation as people from all walks of life joined together to assist children in their own local communities.

The first wish

Our first wish was granted to 16-year-old Shawn Cleland of Footscray in Melbourne in 1985. An avid fan of AFL, Shawn’s wish was to meet the players of his beloved Footscray.

Shawn had never flown in a plane – so Make-A-Wish added an extra-special touch, flying Shawn to Sydney to see the Bulldogs play the Swans.

“Walking was my first choice of a wish”, said Shawn who was confined to a wheelchair due to his illness. His second was to play cricket for Australia or football for Footscray.

Shawn’s favourite player, Footscray legend Simon Beasley, paid him a visit before the trip, “Tell the team that if they get a thrashing they deserve a salary cut”, Shawn joked.

Make-A-Wish Australia today

Since that first wish, Make-A-Wish Australia has gone from strength to strength, now granting about 500 wishes every year. We now have 55 volunteer branches throughout the country and more than 1000 volunteers, supporting more than 40 staff members in fulfilling our mission of bringing magic and joy to children and young people with a life-threatening illness."

There's a fabulous fundraising event happening for them this Friday, the Black & White with a Splash of Red Ball: the Bayside Branch’s annual ball will be held at Red Scooter, 3 William Pl, East St Kilda on Friday, April 17 starting at 7.30pm.

There'll be a celebrity host, 3-course meal, entertainment, an auction of donated goods and the presentation of a very special Wish.

I've donated some Movie Star Bracelets to them for the charity auction. If you wish to attend, please contact Susanne on 0407 803 521 or via the link I've provided.

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