Introducing our Heroes for Hope Recipients 2012
The Heroes for Hope Awards recognize those who have made a deep commitment to The Foundation over a significant period of time. Their involvment resulted in extraordinary impact on raising brand awareness and increasing the number of wishes granted to children with life-threatening medical conditions.
Something mAAgic was created in August 1996 when a group of friends at American Airlines recognized an opportunity for a grassroots campaign to support the Make-A-Wish Foundation. American Airlines, and the founders of Something mAAgic believed they could assist the corporate effort by organizing volunteers in cities served by American Airlines and American Eagle. By October 1996, teams were formed in 12 cities.
In 1997, American Airlines became the Founding Sponsor of Wish Night thanks to Bob Stoltz and the continued advocacy of Board members Bella Goren, Carol Wright, David Campbell and Tom Kiernan.
The organization became Something mAAgic Foundation, Inc.® in October 2000 and now lends support to various children’s organizations and Give Kids The World Village® in Florida.
To date, Something mAAgic has expanded its network of volunteers and enhanced hundreds of wishes for children from all over the world. The Foundation’s annual marquee event, mAAgicsm flight, helps fulfill the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions who want to travel to Orlando, Florida, to visit the local theme parks. In sum, more than $1,500,000 cash and in-kind donations have been raised to fund mAAgic flight and wish enhancements for children in Canada, Europe, Asia, Latin America, Mexico and the United States.
The American Airlines Corporate Real Estate golf tournament has raised over $400,000 for Make-A-Wish North Texas over the past 15 years and the American Airlines Federal Credit Union has chipped in an additional $50,000+ as a sponsor of Wish Night.
In 1982, the Make-A-Wish Foundation of North Texas was added to the national organization’s growing list of chapters. For 16 years, Barry led a growing group of volunteers who gave freely of their time and talent to grant more than 4,000 wishes. Under his direction, the Make-A-Wish Foundation of North Texas successfully completed a capital campaign of $3.4 million to create a special place where Wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions are envisioned, presented and fulfilled. On January 22, 2004 the North Texas Chapter broke ground on The Wishing Place, a new home where the magic of a wish would come to life for children and their families. This new home enhanced the way we ask a child to imagine a wish, the way we present wishes, and the way we network and plan activities for the families we serve. It provides spaces for wish presentation, for wish making, volunteer training, family gatherings, and office and conference functions.
Barry’s exemplary leadership during the rough downturn in the economy magnified his dedication to the children we serve. In September 2009, staff and volunteers celebrated the 4,000th wish with the dedication of The Wishing Tree, a beautiful sculpture that sits in our Lasting Memories Courtyard, greeting guests as they enter The Wishing Place.
Don Lan served as the President of the Board of Directors for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of North Texas during a critical time in the early history of the chapter. Don was responsible for the transformation that set the chapter on a course of success. The chapter moved from an all volunteer organization to staff led volunteer organization under his leadership. He secured funding from Make-A-Wish Foundation of America to hire the Chapter’s first Executive Director. In addition, he is responsible for establishing many key relationships with companies such as Strasburger & Price which still exists today. His record includes recruiting key board members including one of the fellow Heroes for Hope recipients and served on the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America Board of Directors. Before hiring the first Executive Director, he lead a board of volunteers which assumed multiple tasks including fundraising, wish granting, financial oversight, marketing to name a few.
Optimist Club of Amarillo
The Optimist Club of Amarillo was established in 1980 and has always been and always will be a “Friend of Youth.” The club founded Make-A-Wish in the Texas Plains in 1984 when they granted Joni’s wish to see the ocean and sent her to California for the trip of a lifetime. In the first three years of the inception of this chapter, Make-A-Wish granted eight wishes every year, but in the fourth year, they doubled their three-year streak by granting a total of 16 wishes. The Optimist Club served as the Make-A-Wish Board for ten years, overseeing its development and ensuring its growth. The Optimist Club now has eleven members and still helps Make-A-Wish in the Amarillo area.
Permian Basin Oilman’s Bass Invitational (PBOBI)
The Permian Basin Oilman’s Bass Invitational (PBOBI) has worked tirelessly on behalf of the Make-A-Wish Foundation for more than eighteen years. Beginning in 1995 with the intent of promoting camaraderie between oilfield workers the PBOBI decided to make a charitable fundraiser that would go beyond a weekend of fun and fishing. After careful consideration, the PBOBI Board selected the West Texas Chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation as the beneficiary of the tournament’s proceeds.
In May 2012, the PBOBI held its 18th Annual Bass Invitational making their total donation more than $2.75 million and 420 wishes. Amazingly, PBOBI’s generosity does not stop with the donation from the Annual Bass Invitational. Shortly after that event, PBOBI hosts a Kids Tournament at the lake. Once again sponsors, boaters, fisherman and volunteers come together to host our local wish kids and their families. The families are paired with a boater, who takes them out on the lake for a morning of fun. PBOBI provides all the accommodations, food, drinks and liberally stuffed goody bags for each kid. Trophies are handed out to the star anglers.
This organization is made up of the most selfless, caring, dedicated, altruistic individuals in West Texas.
Serving as a local and national board member, Tommy Parrett’s integrity and community achievement were fundamental in the advancement of the Foundation’s mission to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. Tommy is one of only 3 individuals who have received the Texas Star Award that recognizes those with exemplary leadership and volunteerism that enhances the lives of North Texas Wish Kids. His commitment and example inspire others to help make wishes come true.
Wish Night Founders (Robert & Debbie Witte, Jenny Wolf)
In 1997 the Make-A-Wish Foundation of North Texas faced the challenge of rising wish costs and unpredictable annual revenues. Additionally, Make-A-Wish wanted to increase its visibility in the community. In response to these challenges, Robert and Debbie Witte and Lynn and Jenny Wolf created Wish Night 1997.
The goals were twofold: to create the signature event for the North Texas Chapter and raise $100,000 net revenue. American Airlines committed to be the Founding, Presenting Sponsor for five years. Radio, print and television sponsors were paramount to the event’s visibility in the community. In its inaugural year, Wish Night 1997 raised $253,000, exceeding everyone’s expectations. Wish Night has now raised over $10 million for North Texas wishes and continues to be the most highly anticipated event of the year.
As a proud supporter of Make-A-Wish North Texas, G Wear has created custom design G Wear tees in which a portion of all proceeds from online purchases will be donated to help grant North Texas wishes. G Wear tees are made from recycled materials to ensure a better environment for our children now and in the future.