Buffalo, NY, May 20, 2013 ----- The Make-A-Wish®
Buffalo office's annual Gala, An Evening of Wishes
was held on May 11, 2013 at the Adam's Mark Hotel in downtown Buffalo. Nearly 500 members of Western New York’s business and philanthropic elite gathered to celebrate wishes and the community that helps to grant them.
Hosted by legendary 97Rock radio personality Larry Norton and award-winning Channel 2 TV anchor Melissa Holmes, the event exceeded the fundraising goal and raised more than $400,000. Highlights of the evening included a touching message from wish child Tony, who had his wish to meet the Buffalo Sabres granted five years ago. His moving and heartfelt comments on the power of a wish were a poignant reminder for all attendees of why they support the Make-A-Wish mission. Wish child Tiffany also shared her musical talents with the crowd during the evening’s cocktail hour. Her wish to have a baby grand piano was granted in 2011.
The Buffalo Sabres Foundation was recognized as this year’s Gala honoree for the team’s outstanding contributions and commitment to local wishes coming true. The Wishmaker of the Year award recognizes the incredible support the players and foundation have provided to Make-A-Wish children and their families for many years. Community Relations Director Rich Jureller from the Sabres accepted the award on behalf of the team.
“Time and again, the Buffalo Sabres provide our wish children with hope, strength and joy at a time when they need it most,” said Tracy Gray, Director of Development, Buffalo, Make-A-Wish Metro New York and Western New York. “It is more than appropriate to honor their commitment and caring for our local wish families.”
With the strong leadership of Make-A-Wish Metro New York and Western New York board member and Gala Committee Chair, Anthony Habib, the event was a true fundraising success. Funds raised from this year’s Gala are enough to grant more than 50 local wishes! The commitment of Make-A-Wish Metro New York and Western New York board member Rob Moore and his wife Kristi to match all donations to the event through their foundation Moore for Kids, up to $50,000, added greatly to the excitement in the room. “We wanted to generate excitement and build the fundraising momentum for Make-A-Wish and we felt matching donations would create that excitement,” commented Rob Moore. Gray added, “The incredible support from the community always inspires me and this year was no exception. I am thrilled that we are able to grant even more wishes of children right here in Western New York and bring so much joy to their lives.”
Special guests in attendance included Melissa Holmes from WGRZ-TV, Larry Norton from 97Rock, County Legislator Lynne Dixon, and wish children Autumn, Tiffany, Tony and Tony.