Make-A-Wish Gala draws big crowd and big support

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – The Make-A-Wish Western New York Gala drew a crowd of about 550 supporters to Buffalo’s Hyatt Regency Hotel Saturday night to help grant wishes to local children with life-threatening medical conditions. The event raised about $463,000 and organizers estimate that total will underwrite about 65 wishes.

Make-A-Wish works to grant wishes, large and small, submitted by sick children. There is a wide range of desires – from family trips to Disney, to rides on firetrucks, to the opportunity to skate with a favorite hockey star. In the past year the organization has been able to grant 146 wishes. Since the group came to Western New York in 1992, about 2,500 children have seen their wishes granted.

Rob and Kristi Moore, co-founders of ‘Moore for Kids,’ were honored at the Gala as ‘Wishmakers of the Year’ because of their contributions to the organization over several years. Anthony Habib chaired the event.

Dr. Martin Brecher, a pediatric oncologist at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, told the crowd that he and his medical staff have referred many children in treatment to Make-A-Wish. He said it is not unusual for children and their families to bring albums full of photos afterward to the cancer center to share their Make-A-Wish experiences.

The evening included silent and live auctions, dinner, guest speakers, and live music. Several children who have had their wishes granted were in attendance.

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