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May 18, 2022
Make-A-Wish Mass/RI Gala Raises $1M, Surpassing Goal
Make A Wish

April 12, 2022 — Make-A-Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island, a Boston-based nonprofit that helps fulfill the wishes of children up to 18 years old who are critically ill, yesterday announced it raised $1,093,000 at its annual gala, the first held in-person since 2019, surpassing its goal.

Saturday’s event, which drew 400 attendees to the InterContinental Boston, was only the second time in the gala’s 16 years that more than $1 million was raised.

Make-A-Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island said the event, which raised $200,000 more than last year’s virtual gala, was the second of seven in-person events it plans to host this spring.

The funds raised represent nearly 13% of the organizations annual fundraising goal, and will support its ongoing mission. Make-A-Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island said it plans to grant 200 wishes this summer.

Sean Holleran, chief executive officer of Make-A-Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island, said, “We exceeded our goal for this year’s event as a result of an incredible effort by our staff, committee, volunteers, and supporters to host our first in-person gala since 2019. The generosity of our sponsors and the success of our live auction put our total raised above where we could have hoped to be.”

Funds were raised through ticket sales, pledges, auction, sponsorships, live, silent, and super-silent auctions, a Diamond raffle, a wish endowment in honor of the Wish Hero Award recipient, and Fund-A-Wish, whereby supporters pledged an amount to directly support wish granting.

Top sponsors were Steve and Deborah Barnes, Bill Murphy and Fairway Independent Mortgage Group – Auburn, Providence Strategic Growth, and Weil.

Liz Brunner of Brunner Communications served as emcee. The organization’s Wish Hero Award was presented to former Make-A-Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island CEO Charlotte Beattie; the Community Hero Award to went to Subaru of New England.

Wish recipient and singer/songwriter Andrew Marshall, of Boxford, who appeared on NBC’s The Voice, shared the story of his cancer diagnosis as a teenager and his wish experience meeting John Mayer in 2018: “I’m a better writer, performer, musician, and person because of my wish experience. It has pushed me in ways I never expected.”

According to a survey Make-A-Wish completed this year, a large majority of Make-A-Wish alumni, parents, and medical providers agreed that “the wish experience contributes substantially to physical, mental, and emotional health…[and] improved the odds of survival, provided a support system and better health outcomes, and gave the child a better chance of recovering from their critical illness.”

Since its founding nearly 40 years ago, Make-A-Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island has granted the wishes of more than 9,000 children in the two states.

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