Make-A-Wish® Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana (Make-A-Wish OKI) is pleased to announce the first ever JP Morgan Chase Indiana Hope is Essential Virtual Gala presented by FedEx on July 30th, streamed on Make-A-Wish’s social channels, raised $476,158 to help grant at least 47 life-changing wishes for Indiana kids with critical illnesses. The JP Morgan Chase Indiana Hope is Essential Virtual Gala presented by FedEx was emceed by Dave Smiley, co-host of the Smiley Morning Show on 99.5 ZPL. It featured inspirational wish stories from local wish kids including Faith from Otterbein who wished for an above ground pool and a tribute to wish kid Luke Butler who wished to see where pineapples grow. The evening also included cameos from celebrity guests like 2017 & 2019 IndyCar Champion Josef Newgarden and former Colts Tight End & Make-A-Wish Supporter, Dallas Clark. Make-A-Wish co-founder Linda Pauling shared a message of hope in honor of Make-A-Wish’s 40th anniversary, and viewers also had the opportunity to bid on exciting auction packages.
“Our first Indiana Virtual Gala was a huge success!” said Make-A-Wish Ohio, Kentucky & Indiana (Make-A-Wish OKI) President & CEO Stephanie McCormick. “To protect the health and safety of our wish kids and supporters, we reimagined this year’s gala, giving us the unique opportunity to share transformational wish stories with viewers across the state. We’re so grateful to our sponsors and supporters who gave generously to ensure that even during these difficult times, we can keep granting life-changing wishes that deliver hope, strength and joy to kids who need it most.”
While many wishes involving travel and large gatherings have been temporarily paused, Make-A-Wish OKI is still granting hundreds of wishes for things like shopping sprees, room makeovers, campers, pools and playsets. Our dedicated staff and volunteers are committed to supporting each wish family to determine all the wish possibilities we can safely grant now for our families who choose not to wait for a wish.
Make-A-Wish® OKI creates life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. Founded in 1983, we have granted more than 17,500 wishes, and in fiscal year 2019, granted the largest number of wishes in the country. Make-A-Wish is more than wish granting, it’s a global movement of transforming lives through hope, and wishes need YOU! More than 500 children in Indiana are waiting right now. To learn more about how you can donate, volunteer and share our mission, visit: oki.wish.org and follow us on social media @makeawishohkyin