Portland, November  2nd, 2013. It was a joy-filled night for the nearly 550 people who attended the  Make-A-Wish Oregon annual gala. The celebration at the Governor Hotel raised more than $435,000. The money will help make wishes come true for local children with life-threatening medical conditions. Make-A-Wish Oregon Board of Director Ryan Snyder took time to visit with wish kids Elijah, Sam, Atticus, Kaitlyn and Sierra. (photo credit, Eugene W. Wong)

Guests of Presenting Sponsor Royal Caribbean International. For the past 12 years, Royal Caribbean International has worked with Make-A-Wish chapters all across the U.S. to send thousands of wish families on cruises through its Wishes at Sea program.

Guests of Presenting Sponsor Royal Caribbean International. For the past 12 years, Royal Caribbean International has worked with Make-A-Wish chapters all across the U.S. to send thousands of wish families on cruises through its Wishes at Sea program.

The 2013 Wish Ball featured a dinner and live auction, as well as a gala ball and silent auction. Six local kids who had their wishes granted recently were also on-hand to share their inspirational stories. Eight-year-old Atticus wished to scrimmage against the Portland Timbers with his soccer team, 12-year-old Sam wished to go to Lake Shasta with his family and friends, 6-year-old Sierra wished to go to her favorite theme park, 14-year-old Elijah wished to go on a Caribbean cruise, 10-year-old Kaitlyn wished to sing on-stage with her favorite country music star, and 9-year-old Cason wished to meet a wolverine in Alaska. The event was emceed by KATU anchor Debora Knapp.

Make-A-Wish Oregon CEO Laila Cook with wish kid Cason, who wished to meet a wolverine in Alaska.

Make-A-Wish Oregon CEO Laila Cook with wish kid Cason, who wished to meet a wolverine in Alaska.

Wish Ball guests - joined by several wish kids - take part in a game of Heads or Tails. The winner received a pair of first class Alaska Airlines tickets.

Wish Ball guests – joined by several wish kids – take part in a game of Heads or Tails. The winner received a pair of first class Alaska Airlines tickets.

From Make-A-Wish Oregon:

 Special thanks to the following Wish Ball sponsors for helping to make so many dreams come true: Royal Caribbean International, Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys, Tube Specialties, Alaska Airlines, Pacific Seafood, SET, and Total Wine & More. This year also marks the 30th Anniversary of the Oregon chapter. Since its inception in 1983, the local chapter has granted more than 2,900 wishes in Oregon and Clark County, Washington. “We are able to make wishes come true because of the generosity of our volunteers, community and donors,” said Laila Cook, CEO of Make-A-Wish Oregon. “I believe the true power of a wish is like a stone thrown into a lake that continues to ripple out and impact a family, the child’s school and the entire community surrounding that sick child.” A recent study showed that the wish experience is viewed by wish children, their parents and their wish-granting volunteers as more than just a nice experience. It is a vital part in the battle against a serious illness and is a powerful force for creating stronger communities for everyone involved.

About Make-A-Wish® Oregon
Make-A-Wish grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. The Oregon chapter is one of 61 Make-A-Wish chapters in the United States. With the help of generous donors and nearly 250 volunteers, the Oregon chapter has granted more than 2,900 wishes in Oregon and Clark County, Washington. For more information about Make-A-Wish Oregon, visit oregon.wish.org and discover how you can share the power of a wish®.

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