Thursday night I had the pleasure of attending WISH NYC: A Toast To Wishes, a benefit to raise funds for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Celebrating its 3rd year, WISH NYC was held at the swanky LAVO in Midtown East. Upon arriving I quickly noticed that the event was highly geared to the young professional, with most attendees under the age of 30. Every year WISH NYC is coordinated by their New Leadership Council, a committee of volunteers all under the age of 40. One of the Event Chairs, Alli Holzberg attended a previous WISH NYC benefit as a guest and was immediately touched by the council’s commitment to this organization. “My family has been involved with Make-A-Wish for years so I grew up knowing what a respected and important organization this is,” Alli stated. When asked about her work on the Leadership Council, Alli explained, “I love how we’re a group of young professionals getting involved and working together for a cause that touches so many kids. After graduating college I knew I wanted to volunteer my time and there’s no other organization I’d rather be working for than Make-A-Wish.”
Since 1980, the Make-A-Wish Foundation has touched the lives of children with life-threatening medical conditions through its wish-granting work. Since then, the organization has blossomed into a worldwide phenomenon, reaching more than 250,000 children around the world. Comprised of a network of nearly 25,000 volunteers, Make-A-Wish prides itself on its grassroots initiatives such as the WISH NYC fundraiser.
Throughout the evening champagne flowed, music blasted and the attractive guests mingled. The council with impressive connections was able to score nearly 50 silent auction items including a signed Tom Brady jersey, a private suite at the Barclays for an upcoming Nets game, and a one-year subscription to the online beauty company Birchbox. There was also an opportunity for guests to donate funds and help sponsor future wishes. As Make-A-Wish Metro New York and Western New York chapters’ Gaby Sappington explained, an average wish for one child costs around $7,500. Since its inception in 1983, the Metro New York chapter has granted over 8,500 wishes. “Whether at the end of the night we’ve raised enough funds for 5 wishes or 50 wishes, anytime we can grant a wish, it’s always a very special gift to these extremely deserving kids.”
Overall I had a great time at WISH NYC. It was a wonderful event and nice to see so many young New Yorkers spending money on an important cause. My favorite aspect of the evening were the pictures around the room of kids who have had their wishes granted—a clear reminder of the importance of the WISH NYC event and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.