It’s the season for giving, and we here at The Asheville Post would like to honor that sentiment by launching our Reach Out Asheville series and highlighting the wonderful efforts of the folks at Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central and Western North Carolina. We recently reported on the then forthcoming Make-A-Wish benefit concert at The Orange Peel, which was a resounding success for Make-A-Wish and a wonderful example of our community’s love for helping those need (while rocking out!).
For the past 10 years, Mickey Hayes and Caren Rowell have organized and promoted this annual benefit concert, and this year’s event was hugely successful, topping off Make-A-Wish Foundation’s yearly fundraising to over $1,000 more than last year. One of the highlights of the evening was 11-year-old leukemia survivor and Make-A-Wish kid Eliza Long taking the stage to perform a heart-warming rendition of “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac. Caren noted, “When Eliza was on stage telling her story and singing, she took this loud rock-n-roll crowd down to where you could hear a pin drop.” It was a genuinely beautiful and moving moment.
Caren went on to share how touched she is that the list of Make-A-Wish sponsors is not only growing steadily, but that these new sponsors also stick with the foundation year after year. “We add more each year,” she says. “It’s gotten to the point [where] people are calling me … asking how they can help.”
Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central and Western North Carolina supports kids in 51 North Carolina counties, from Burlington westward. It is currently serving 56 children in the greater Asheville area to grant their one true wish. Amy Brindley, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central and Western North Carolina, had this to say:
“Make-A-Wish … grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich their lives with hope, strength, and joy at a time when they need it most. … A wish come true helps children feel stronger, more energetic, more willing and able to battle their life-threatening medical conditions. For many of them, it marks a turning point in their fight[.] For their doctors, nurses, and other health professionals, the wish experience works in concert with medicine to make their patients feel better emotionally, and even physically. Children and parents alike experience more happiness and less fear in their lives. Parents say their family units—often strained to the limit by stresses of the illnesses—are repaired and strengthened through their shared experience of the wish process.”
Beyond directly serving friends and neighbors in Asheville and the surrounding counties, Make-A-Wish is making its mark in the Asheville community by connecting a great cause with an event like its annual fundraising concert that enlivens and engages the hearts and minds of local folks. Asheville is the perfect stage for community-supported action. Our citizens thrive on making the world a better place, and what better way to achieve that than through easing the suffering of a child. Here are just a few of the local businesses, bands, and individuals who have stepped up to support Make-A-Wish:
Rock Academy Asheville, Hotel Indigo, Biltmore Farms, DoubleTree, Sleep Inn, Bari Salon, Moe’s Original BBQ, TRP, Harvest Records, Small Terrains, The Loft, Harley Davidson, Swamp Fox Tavern, One Stop Deli & Bar, Zuma Coffee, Asheville Movement Center, Shell & Taylor Enterprises Inc., the KennyKennyKenny, Mellow Mushroom, Alan’s Jewelry & Pawn, Amazing Savings, Applebee’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, EarthMusic Photography, The Orange Peel, 105.9 The Mountain, 98.1 The River, 88.7 WNCW, Shane Pruitt Band, Velvet Truckstop, Rory Kelly, Sharkadelics, Nicky Sanders, Amanda Platt, John Keane, Tony Black, Josh Phillips, Adrian Brinkley, Caleb Johnson, Chris O’Neill, Austin Haynes, Leeda Lyric, Ike Stubblefield, Debrissa McKinney, Artimus Pyle, Paul Handsman and many more!
Make-A-Wish works year-round to make a difference in the lives of young people and their families, and there are many ways you, too, can take a moment to offer your support. You can call Make-A-Wish at 877.677.WISH (9474), visit ncwish.org, or text the word “DONATE” to 80088. Caren Rowell also reports that they will soon have Make-A-Wish T-shirts for sale on the ncwish.org website, so keep an eye out!
Make a kid smile, and do Asheville proud.