Make-A-Wish Gala

The 2014 Make-A-Wish® Massachusetts and Rhode Island Gala

  • Mayor Martin J. Walsh, mayor of Boston, with wish children Sammuel (left) and Fred, his honorary security detail.

  • 2014 Community Spirit Award recipient Linda Groves (center) with board chairman Greg Gailius and CEO Charlotte Beattie.

  • Liz Brunner has emceed the Gala since its inception nine years ago.

  • Wish mom Brenda Haynes honored the memory of her son, Rayquan, by sharing the story of his wish to meet the rapper T.I.

  • Phunk Phenomenon's hip hop dance performance was dedicated to Rayquan and all of our wish children.

  • Wish child Izzy, center, shared her talents developed through her wish for guitar lessons at Berklee College of Music. Her mother, Lorraine Barr, also spoke about Izzy's wish.

  • Wish child Celia with her parents, Larry and Anita LaBarbera. Anita shared her reflections on Celia's wish to go horseback riding at a dude ranch.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to our friends and supporters who helped make the 2014 Make-A-Wish® Gala an incredible night. In particular, we thank Presenting Sponsors Steve and Deborah Barnes, the Nelson Family Foundation, and MFS Investment Management.

The event, held on April 12 at the InterContinental Boston, drew close to 500 guests to enjoy performances and presentations by our wish children and their families. Liz Brunner, formerly of WCVB-TV NewsCenter 5 and now president of Brunner Communications, served as emcee and Mayor Martin J. Walsh, mayor of Boston, shared his reflections on the impact of childhood illness and the importance of the Make-A-Wish mission.

During the program, the Make-A-Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island Community Spirit Award was presented to Linda Groves, of Bingham McCutchen and Groves Law, in recognition of her significant contributions of time and talent to our organization as legal counsel for nearly 30 years.
The 2014 Make-A-Wish Gala raised $950,000, which will grant the wishes of over 100 seriously ill children in our community in the coming year! 

Photos by Ryan Stranz, Michael Blanchard Photography
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PWC     Weil
Josh and Anita Bekenstein
Jonathan and Jeannie Lavine

Drew Lawton and Jill Royster


HSBC: The world's local bank
KraftGroup    NYLife

Stephanie and John Connaughton
Paul and Sandy Edgerly
Michael A. Krupka and Ms. Anne C. Kubik
Judy and Steve Pagliuca

Missie and Chip Bankes
Nicole and Philip Haughey
The Herman Family
Putnam Investments
The Ribatt Family
Timothy O'Connell Foundation

The Paglia Family  |   Randstad Technologies  
Andrew and Melissa Rees  |  Wheels for Wishes  |  Zurich


A.M. DePrisco Wellesley  |  Flagship Press  |  Party Favors  |  Winston Flowers

2014 Make-A-Wish Gala Committee

Lori Nelson, Committee Chair
Christina Adams
Drew Davis
Denise Duffy
Elizabeth Eromin
Jackie Finkelstein
Jennifer Flynn
Laurie Flynn
Victoria A. Goldberg
Kristine Hoag
Matthew Nagler
Joanne O’Connell
Tannaz Saponaro
Evelyn Schneider
Danielle Shagoury
Juliana Taymor
Cheryl Wilkinson
Molly Rappoli

A Look Back at the 2013 Gala

  • 2013 Wish Hero Award recipient Steve Barnes, second from right, with (counterclockwise from Steve) Greg Gailius, Make-A-Wish Board of Directors Chair; Charlotte Beattie, Make-A-Wish CEO; and wish children and twin sisters Athena and Alexa.

  • Left to right: Make-A-Wish CEO Charlotte Beattie; wish recipient Tyler; and Deborah Barnes, wife of the evening's honoree, Steve Barnes.

  • Left to right: Lori Nelson, Board member and 2013 Gala Committee Chair; Cheryl Wilkinson, Board member; and Steve Stelljes, Cheryl's husband. Photo courtesy of Erica Ferrone.

  • 2013 Make-A-Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island Gala

  • Right to left: Greg Gailius, Chair, Make-A-Wish Board of Directors; Liz Brunner, Master of Ceremonies from WCVB-TV Channel 5; Craig Stockmal, Liz's husband; and Loretta Gailius, Greg's wife.

  • Left to right: Andy Fligor; Marsha and Patrick Ahearn; Leslye Fligor.

  • Wish recipient Morgan

We extend our deepest gratitude to all who contributed to the incredible success of our 2013 Gala, and in particular to Presenting Sponsors Steve and Deborah Barnes and The Nelson Family Foundation; Premier Sponsors Kirkland & Ellis, PwC, Weil, and Anonymous; and the members of the Bain Capital Partners group for their generous contributions in honor of their colleague, Steve Barnes. 

Through sponsorships, ticket sales, a variety of auctions, and a diamond raffle, the Gala raised $1.3 million to set children on the path to wishes come true in the year ahead!

In recognition of his extraordinary leadership and profound commitment, Make-A-Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island is honored to present Steve Barnes of Bain Capital with the 2013 Wish Hero Award.

Embracing the Make-A-Wish mission with the utmost compassion and generosity, Steve has powered Make-A-Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island from past to future. During his tenure as Chairman of our Board of Directors, Steve served as a true champion in strategically advancing our organization’s reach. A leadership donor and a visionary, he has worked to ensure that we have the resources for today while laying the groundwork for a sustainable future. He is a passionate ambassador who has engaged individuals and businesses in our wish-granting program at every turn. Steve’s generosity has changed the lives of hundreds of children through their wishes, and paves the way for future generations of wish children to discover hope, strength, and joy in the face of serious illness.

Steve’s philanthropic support has also impacted many other charitable causes across the region and around the world. He serves on the boards of Boston Children’s Hospital and his alma mater, Syracuse University, where he endowed the Barnes Family Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities and serves as Co-Chairman of the Board of the Institute for Veterans and Military Families. Additionally, he is an investor and mentor to venture philanthropy fund New Profit and has served on the boards of City Year and United Way. Together with his family, Steve has frequently traveled to Kenya to help build schools and medical facilities in partnership with Free the Children, and sponsors high school education for several Kenyan teenagers.

Steve is a Managing Director at Bain Capital and has been associated with the firm since 1988. Steve and his wife, Deborah, have three children.

Make-A-Wish® Massachusetts and Rhode Island
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Make-A-Wish® Massachusetts and Rhode Island, Providence Office
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