Volunteers and community partners from Southwest Florida were honored and thanked at the Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Southern Florida 2012 Volunteer/Donor Appreciation Dinner. The dinner, held on April 26 at the Holiday Inn Town Center, recognized those who give of their time and support to make wishes come true for local children.
Amy Sedlacek of Norman Love Confections, and long time supporter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, was the emcee for the evening. She welcomed wish child Gavin and his family to the dinner as Gavin’s mother spoke on her son’s behalf. She told of the family’s struggles and about the amazing wish that her son received to go on a Disney Cruise and how much it meant to the entire family.
Brandi Lawrey, Gavin’s mother, explained that Gavin has a seizure disorder and has many seizures randomly. Although Gavin’s illness did not go away on the cruise it wasn’t the focus of their days. They didn’t have to attend doctor’s appointments or spend days in the hospital. Gavin was given the opportunity to be a normal child on a great vacation and he got to enjoy many adventures. The illness seemed to be forgotten about while swimming and enjoying all the amenities the boat had to offer.
Norm Wedderburn, President/CEO of Make-A-Wish, thanked guests for their unfailing dedication to make the lives of children a little better through a wish.
Because of their efforts and dedication to making wishes come true, the following individuals and companies were singled out for their outstanding efforts during the past year and were presented individual awards:
Wishmaker of the Year - Bob DesJardin
Rising Star of the Year - Carrie Santinelli
Ambassador of the Year - Coby Palmer
Volunteer of the Year - Sue Lottridge
Referral Agent of the Year –Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida
Media Partner of the Year - Naples Illustrated
Community Partner of the Year - Shula’s Steak House
External Event of the Year - Aston Gardens
In Kind Angel Award of the Year - Naples Princess
Advocate of the Year - Chi Omega, FGCU
Donor of the Year - Dr. and Mrs. Magnant, Vein Specialists
Wish Granter of the Year - Amy Sedlacek
The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida grants wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength, and joy. Twenty-eight years of magic and more than 8,000 wishes later, the Foundation continues its mission to share the power of a wish® with ailing children. For more information, to make a donation, volunteer or become a wish sponsor, visit www.sfla.wish.org or call Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida at (239) 992-9474.