MAKE-A-Wish Foundation of Guam and the CNMI held its annual “Black Tie and Zories” fundraising dinner at the Hyatt Regency Saipan on Friday evening. Tickets were $100 each.
According to Annie Gayle, board chair, the foundation has granted 275 wishes since 1988.
“Next year is our 30th anniversary. We will have a big event in Guam and the CNMI. Our goal is to grant at least 25 more wishes over the next year or two,” Gayle said.
She thanked the sponsors and donors for supporting the foundation which grants the wishes of children who suffer from critical illnesses. “The doctors tell us that once a wish is granted, the child feels so much better. Everything is so much better, not only for the child, but for everybody involved.”
Eric Tydingco, president and chief executive officer of the Guam and CNMI chapter, said they grant the wishes of children two and a half to seventeen years old who have been determined by a physician to have a life-threatening medical condition.
“They may have critical illnesses that affect what they can do physically, but these kids retain their ability to imagine what they can do. That is what we do here at Make-A-Wish — give hope, joy and strength,” Tydingco said.
He said when he was attending a foundation conference two weeks ago, they were shown a video of a young boy from Georgia who had a congenital heart disease.
“His wish was to visit Saturn. The Make-A-Wish team from Georgia made it happen through the power of technology and virtual reality. They put this boy in VR goggles and he got to visit Saturn and interact with green aliens. It was beautiful to behold,” he said.
“We can’t help them medically, but we can give them hope, strength and joy to experience what it is like to have an normal childhood at least for a brief time.
Tydingco clarified two things:
Critical illness does not mean terminal illnesses. He said the foundation has to dispel the notion that to be eligible for a wish means a child has to be terminally ill.
“It does not need to be terminal, but a condition that is severely affecting a child’s life. Things are no longer normal for the child because he or she has to undergo treatment, disrupting the normal activities of a child and normal upbringing that the child is supposed to have,” he said in an earlier interview.
Moreover, Tydingco said the foundation does not discriminate on the basis of financial means. “They can be rich, they can be poor. It is the child’s wish that matters to us,” he added.
Jay Santos and Tina Goodwin won the Best Zories award during the evening.
In addition, there were five packages raffled off during the event.
Mihir Rout won package 1 worth $3,111, consisting of a man’s bike from Joeten Enterprises; a boy’s bike and helmet from Lollipops; a Mt. T/Hidden Trail Ride; a one-hour session at Sea Touch for four from Let’s Go Saipan/Sea Touch Saipan; a one-year membership for two at Gold’s Gym; a sky dive for one with Sky Dive Saipan; a free plate-of-the-day every month for a year and a free smoothie every month for a year at The Shack.
Jim Arenovski won package 2 worth $1,646.65. It consisted of a Kate Spade Watson Lane Hartley backpack from DFS Saipan; one Budweiser 10’x 10’ canopy; two limited edition Tao Tao Bud Tribes beach towels; two Budweiser BBQ aprons, utensil sets, Budweiser BBQ sets and Budweiser hats; two Budweiser string bags; two Budweiser floral can coolies, one case of Budweiser and one case of Bud Light from Marpac; a Thanksgiving combo package from Herman’s Modern Bakery; a gift certificate for a half-sheet cake from Sweet Escape; a holiday wine and spirits package: two Flechas Delos Andes Gran Malbec and two Gin & Jonnie Gastro Gin from BFJ; one free plate-of-the day every month for a year and one free smoothie every month for a year at The Shack; and a bucket prize from Pacific Trading Company.
Package 3 worth $1,337.70 went to Chris Nelson. It included a Michael Kors Studio Mercer large convertible tote from DFS Saipan; a night’s stay for two in a deluxe room with dinner buffet at the Kanoa Resort; American Tourister luggage from Joeten Enterprises; a $25 gift certificate for two from Joeten Enterprises; one free plate-of-the-day every month for a year and one free smoothie every month for a year at The Shack; one Seiko Watch Chrome from Pacifica Insurance; and a bucket prize from PTC.
Annie Gayle won package 4 worth $1,753. It consisted of a Michael Kors Cynthia small leather satchel from DFS Saipan; a night’s stay with Sunday brunch for two at the Hyatt Regency Saipan; a Luxe wine-and-spirit package: one Beluga Vodka. Gold line in leather gift box; two Flechas delos Andes Gran Malbec, two Gin and Jonnie Gastro Gin, and one Beluga Vodka-Transatlantic in a leather box from BFJ Corp.; two free plates-of-the-day every month for a year and two free smoothies every month for a year at The Shack; and a pair of Michael Kors sunglasses from Marianas Eye Institute.
Package 5 worth $3,331 went to Joyce Santos. It included a Google pixel phone with an $80-service/data plan for three months from IT&E; a two-night stay in the executive suite with Sunday brunch for two at Fiesta Resort and Spa Saipan; an executive wine and spirits package — one Beluga Vodka-Transatlantic in a leather box, two Flechas Delos Andes Gran Malbec and two Gin & Jonnie Gastric Gin from BFJ Corp.
CNMI’s Got Talent winners Lawrence Tubera and Erica Faye Tubera, and the MHS Glee Club, Rhythm ‘N Harmony, provided entertainment for the night.
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