Held annually, Wish Ball celebrates the mission of Make-A-Wish Arizona by raising funds to grant the future wishes of Arizona children with life-threatening medical conditions.
This year, Valley entrepreneur and philanthropist Bob Parsons made an impromptu announcement – The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation would double-down its support for the evening. The 570 Wish Ball attendees were challenged to give a little extra knowing that their personal donation would make three times the difference.
“We are so pleased that Bob and Renee believe in bringing their special brand of hope to our Arizona wish kids,” said Elizabeth Reich, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish Arizona. “This year, because of the incredible generosity of our donors, especially the Parsons who donated $2 million, Wish Ball exceeded all expectations and was by far the most successful fundraising event in Make-A-Wish Arizona’s 34 year history.”
Donating not only dollars but also a motorcycle from his Harley-Davidson of Scottsdale dealership, Bob upped the ante during the live auction this year. Bob shocked and thrilled bidders when he announced that he would get a tattoo with the highest bidder for the 2014 Softail Breakout.
“It is only through the generosity of many that Make-A-Wish is able to have such a remarkable impact on the lives of Arizona wish kids and their families,” said Bob Parsons. “If by doubling-down and having a little fun during the auction we are able to inspire additional gifts to help give hope to these amazing kids, you better believe we are going to do it.”
The ball, which was themed as a “Great Gatsby”-like party, featured a live auction, silent auction, and the ability for attendees to “Fund-A-Wish”. The Fund-A-Wish portion was preceded by a glimpse into a wish experience with Arizona wish kid Logan, 9, whose wish to have a playground built in his community was recently granted.
“Logan and his parents provided a first-hand account of the impact a wish can have on a child who is dealing with a life-threatening medical condition, and their story greatly inspired our donors,” said Reich. “With the average cost of a wish approximately $7,500, this money will help us move closer to our goal of granting more wishes each year.”
The ball also honored former Board Chairman Michael Tully and current partner US Airways with the Tom and Madena Stewart Lifetime Compassion Award for their work as an individual and as a corporation respectively.
“As a member of the board of directors and co-chair for this year’s ball, I could not be more delighted with both the event and the outpouring of generosity from those who chose to spend the evening with us,” said Renee Parsons. “I truly believe when the community comes together, like they did on Saturday evening, amazing things happen – wishes come true.”