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Make-A-Wish Gala

2017 Make-A-Wish Gala

Join us in Boston on April 8 to celebrate 30 years of wish granting!

A Look Back at the 2016 Gala

  • Gala emcee Liz Brunner, left, interviews wish recipients Ben and Sarah

  • Wish child Maleah, 5, who wished to be a model, struts the runway with professional models

  • L to R: Kevin O'Connell, board member, with Wish Hero Award recipients Lori and Chris Nelson

  • Board chair Bob Paglia welcomes guests and thanks the evening's sponsors

  • Wish dad DJ Norton speaks about his son DJ's wish for designer sneakers

  • Fifteen-year-old DJ's wish for Nike Air Mag sneakers is granted live on stage by Chris and Lori Nelson

  • Wish mom Natasha and her son Gabriel, 7, share highlights from Gabriel's wish to meet Tom Brady

  • Wish mom Carol Corcelli shares the story of her daughter Isaballa's wish to dance with Tony Dovolani from Dancing with the Stars

  • L to R: John Terrio of Auction Knights with Gala emcee Liz Brunner and Steve DeFillippo, Chef/CEO of Davio's, as they auction off a special Davio's experience

  • L to R: CEO Charlotte Beattie with Bob Dickey, President, Randstad Technologies, and his wife Tracey

  • Board member Cheryl Wilkinson, left, with board member Jay Mattie and his wife Susan

  • CEO Charlotte Beattie, center, with Kim McCaslin, board member (right), and Kim's husband Brian as well as Amy Kritzer, MD, (left) a member of our Medical Advisory Council, and Amy's husband Joshua

  • The 2016 Make-A-Wish Gala celebrated the empowering impact of wishes

A Powerful Evening Celebrating Hope, Strength, and Joy!

We extend our heartfelt appreciation to all our friends and supporters who helped make the 2016 Make-A-Wish Gala, “Where Wishes Empower,” a success! A special thank you to our Presenting Sponsors, Steve and Deborah Barnes together with Bain Capital Community Partnership, and The Nelson Family Foundation for their tremendous generosity.

The 11th annual event, held on April 9, 2016, at the InterContinental Boston, drew nearly 500 guests to enjoy an evening of celebration featuring wish recipients, wish parents, and wish granters who shared how wishes can inspire, elevate, and empower a child – and a community. Liz Brunner, president of Brunner Communications, returned as emcee for an inspiring evening featuring stories of empowerment and joy from wish recipients and wish parents. The night began with wish child Maleah, age 7, strutting her stuff on the runway as part of her wish to be a model. Guests were also treated to a surprise wish reveal for wish recipient DJ whose wish for a pair of collectible Nike Air MAG sneakers – the ones worn by Marty McFly in Back to the Future – was granted on stage, complete with a personalized note from the shoe’s designer and a surprise video message from the actor himself, Michael J. Fox.

The heartwarming evening raised over $1 million to grant wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions. We thank all of our sponsors, participants, guests, volunteers, and other supporters for joining us and helping to empower our wish children in the coming months!

Not able to attend our annual Gala this year? Join our e-mail list to stay informed about upcoming events and wish stories.

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Photos by Michael Blanchard Photography

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Presenting Sponsors
Steve and Deborah Barnes
The Nelson Family Foundation

Bain Capital

Premier Sponsors

Josh and Anita Bekenstein
Jonathan and Jeannie Lavine

Wish Star Sponsors

Kraft Group
John and Stephanie Connaughton
Paul and Sandy Edgerley

Michael A. Krupka and Dr. Anne C. Kubik
The Paglia Family
Steve and Judy Pagliuca


Wish Partner Sponsors

BayBoston Managers LLC  |  Burke Distributing Corporation
The Herman Family | Drew Lawton and Jill Royster
L.E.K. Consulting | The Timothy O’Connell Foundation
Putnam Investments | Randstad Technologies
Andrew and Melissa Rees | The Ribatt Family | Richard P. Ryan
Suffolk Construction | The TJX Companies, Inc.

The 2016 Make-A-Wish Gala Committee

Committee Chair
Cheryl Wilkinson, The Colony Group

Committee Clerk 
Victoria A. Goldberg, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

Committee Members

Christina Adams, Converse
Kristan Fletcher, Brunner Communications
Laurie Flynn, Beacon Hill Legal
Rohini Gupta, Natixis Global Asset Management
Kristine Hoag
Jessica Levine, Karmory LLC
Matt Nagler, BANK W Holdings, LLC / The Nagler Group
Joanne O'Connell
Faye Sahagian
Kellie Sahagian, Sephora Beauty Adivsor
Tannaz Saponaro, Verrill Dana LLP
Christen Smith, Zurich North America
Eric Vaden, Karmory LLC

You might also be interested in ...

Maleah Catwalk

Glimpse into Maleah's wish to be a model
2016 Make-A-Wish Gala

View the video

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East Providence, RI 02915
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