Make-A-Wish Arizona Wish Ball, presented by Phusion Projects, raised more than $3.1 million on March 20.
The event, which celebrates the mission of Make-A-Wish Arizona by raising funds to grant the wishes of Arizona children with critical illnesses, was the organization’s first hybrid event, with approximately 270 attendees in a typical 1,000-person room at the JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa. Many more supporters watched virtually from home.
This year’s theme, Star Light, Star Bright, was the idea of the four co-chairs: Jill Krigsten Riley, Mari Lederman, Jennifer Moser and Renee Parsons.
The total raised included a surprise $2 million gift from The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation. Longtime supporters of the cause, over the past 15 years the Parsons have donated more than $12 million to the organization.
“I am so proud of the tireless passion and dedication of the Make-A-Wish Arizona team,” says Renee Parsons, president and executive creative director of PXG Apparel . “For 40 years, the organization has been a bright star for countless families, granting spectacular, personalized wishes to children facing critical illnesses.”
“During these uncertain times, Make-A-Wish is offering families much needed, heartwarming magic,” adds Bob Parsons, founder and CEO of PXG . “The life-changing hope and excitement that a child experiences when a wish is granted is more important now than ever.”
“The gift from the Parsons was the icing on the cake of a successful event,” says Elizabeth Reich, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish Arizona . “Since the Parsons started giving, Make-A-Wish Arizona has grown exponentially every year to reach more and more wish kids. This new gift will enable us to keep our momentum as we bring hope to children, even during pandemic restrictions.”
The funds will help grant the more than 548 wishes Make-A-Wish Arizona is currently planning with Arizona wish kids and families. The nonprofit has a goal to grant 340 wishes this fiscal year. The chapter granted 255 during the 2020 fiscal year due to COVID-19 restrictions.
PHOTO BY MARK SKALNY, COURTESY MAKE-A-WISH ARIZONA