Make-A-Wish America to match donation for $100,000 "Summer of Wishes"
PHOENIX — The Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation announced Wednesday that Make-A-Wish Arizona will receive a $50,000 grant from the D-backs as part of the Grand Slam Awards. In addition, Make-A-Wish America will match the D-backs’ $50,000 donation for a total donation of $100,000 to Make-A-Wish Arizona. The donation will be used to help grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.
“We are honored to be able to help fulfill the wishes of children facing life-threatening medical conditions,” said D-backs President & CEO Derrick Hall, who also serves as a board member for Make-A-Wish Arizona. “Make-A-Wish has such a profound impact on children here in Arizona and we are proud to support their efforts of fulfilling dreams and providing much needed hope and strength to battle for life.”
Luis Gonzalez, aka "Gonzo," sat down with 3TV's Scott Pasmore and Kaley O'Kelley Thursday morning to talk about the grant and his work with Make-a-Wish children.
Last year, Make-A-Wish Arizona granted wishes for more than 250 children throughout the state of Arizona. Currently, 417 eligible Arizonan children are waiting to have their wishes granted. Therefore, Make-A-Wish Arizona has created a “Summer of Wishes” campaign with the goal of providing 280 wishes by Aug. 31, 2012. The average cost to fulfill a wish is $7,500 and with the $50,000 donation from the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation, the D-backs will help fulfill the wishes of nearly seven children.
Make-A-Wish Arizona does not deny wishes to eligible children, and with a 50 percent increase in eligible wish referrals since 2008, it now takes an average of 19 months for a wish to be granted. The goal is to reduce the time to six to nine months and therefore additional funding is needed in order to grant wishes in a timely manner because when a child has a life-threatening medical condition, time is of the essence.
Make-A-Wish grants the wishes of Arizona children who 1) have been diagnosed with a progressive, degenerative or malignant condition that has placed the child’s life in jeopardy; 2) are older than 2½ and younger than 18 at the time of referral; and 3) haven’t received a previous wish from a wish-granting organization. Its geographic boundary for service delivery is the state of Arizona and more than 60 percent of the Foundation’s wish kids reside in Maricopa County.
A wish come true empowers children to fight harder against their illnesses. During the wish experience hope suppresses fear, strength supplants submission, and joy replaces despair. Throughout the team’s 14-year history, the D-backs have fulfilled several wishes for Arizona youth including special experiences at Chase Field, enjoying a D-backs game and meeting D-backs legends such as Luis Gonzalez.
Make-A-Wish Arizona is the third announced recipient of five to receive the Grand Slam Award. Other recipients include A.T. Still University ($50,000), which funded a D-backs themed dental suite, and Kitchen on the Street ($100,000), which funded a mobile kitchen. The Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation established the Grand Slam Awards in 2002 to make a larger impact on community organizations by providing a grant for up to $100,000. The grants are made possible by fundraising efforts by the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation.
About Make-A-Wish Arizona
Make-A-Wish Arizona, the founding chapter of the world’s largest wish granting organization, grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. With the help of generous donors, Make-A-Wish Arizona grants almost 300 wishes annually. The chapter granted its 4,000th wish in December 2011. The average cost of a wish is $7,500. For more information, visit wishaz.org and discover how you can share the power of a wish®.