Make-A-Wish Foundation of Georgia and Alabama Hosted Successful Fundraising Gala in Atlanta - Money Raised Will Support 50 Wishes in 2007

Wish Child, Jordan, Also Performed Her Dream to be a Dancer

Nov 15, 2006, 00:00 ET from Make-A-Wish Foundation

    ATLANTA, Nov. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Atlanta was host to this past
 Saturday's Annual Celebration of Wishes. The black-tie Gala celebrated the
 many wishes granted by the Make-A-Wish Foundation(R) of Georgia and Alabama
 in 2006. Held at The Intercontinental Hotel, approximately 400 attendees
 filled the ballroom to experience a magical evening.
     (Photo: )
     Celebration of Wishes Results
     The second annual Celebration of Wishes raised more than $300,000
 through corporate sponsorships, live and silent auctions and donations.
 More than 100 live and silent auction packages were donated for the Gala.
     Wish Granted at Gala
     The Make-A-Wish Foundation grants the wishes of children with life-
 threatening medical conditions. The Foundation grants four types of wishes:
 "I wish to go ... ," "I wish to be ... ," "I wish to meet..." or "I wish to
 have ... ." Attendees of the Atlanta Gala experienced a live wish in the
 making. Seven-year old Jordan Holmes from Austell, Georgia wished to be a
 dancer. Therefore, Make-A-Wish helped fulfill that dream by aligning her
 with the Price Performing Arts Center for regular dance lessons, and to
 also prepare her for the big Gala performance. Jordan suffers from
 sickle-cell anemia, a genetic blood disorder that deprives the organs of
 oxygen and causes her body a great deal of pain.
     The Gala also featured personalized video messages including:
      - A welcome message from American Idol host and Atlanta-native Ryan
      - A "shout-out" from Atlanta-native Ludacris to Jordan
      - A "shout-out" from renowned country music legends Brooks & Dunn
     "The Celebration of Wishes was a phenomenal success. Not only did we
 grant a spectacular wish for Jordan, but we raised money for further wish
 granting in Georgia and Alabama," said P.J. White, President and CEO of
 Make-A-Wish Foundation of Georgia and Alabama. "As we celebrate the amazing
 stories of our wish children, we thank our sponsors and individuals who
 supported this gala and wish granting with their gifts of money, time and
     Gala Honorees
     Three Georgia-based recipients received special recognition at the
 Gala. They included:
     William L. "Bill" Smith, "Power of a Wish" Award
     This award recognizes a person who has exhibited outstanding leadership
 over an extended period of time to help the Chapter expand its ability to
 deliver on the mission to serving wish children. Smith is immediate past
 Chairman of the Board of Directors for Make-A-Wish Foundation for Georgia
 and Alabama. He served as a board member for the past six years and has
 been integral in securing hundreds of thousands of dollars for wish
 granting. He has also been responsible for lighting up the entire BellSouth
 building in downtown Atlanta during the Annual Stories of Light campaign.
 Smith is also Chief Technology Officer for Atlanta-based BellSouth
     Marc Lefar, "Debbie Tillman" Award
     One of the Chapter founders and first Chairperson was Debbie Tillman.
 This award was established in her honor and it recognizes an outstanding
 member of the Board of Directors for their dedication. Lefar is the Chief
 Marketing Officer for Atlanta-based Cingular Wireless.
     Jimmy Carson, "Hope, Strength and Joy" Award
     This award recognizes an outstanding volunteer who has helped deliver
 "hope" through their wish granting work, "strength through their
 fundraising initiatives and "joy" through their commitment to the Chapter's
 mission. Carson has volunteered with the Chapter for the past five years.
 Carson is the Marketing Manager for Holcim Inc, the second largest supplier
 of cement in the world. He resides in Augusta, Georgia.
     The Gala committee was made up of auction, decorating, hosting,
 sponsorship and marketing committee members. Chaired by George Georgiou,
 Senior Vice President of Florida-based Butler Telecom and Honorary
 Chairpersons Kim and Tim Hudson of Peachtree City, Georgia, the Gala
 committee helped make the evening a star-studded event. Tim Hudson is also
 a pitcher for the Atlanta Braves.
     Committee Chairpersons included:
      - AUCTION: Martha Baumgartner of Sandy Springs and Anne Jones of
                 Kennessaw, Georgia
      - DECORATIONS: Cynthia Allison of Conley, Georgia
      - HOST: Vicki Bitzis of Dunwoody and Rhona Tiongson-Federer, M.D. of
              Dunwoody, Georgia
      - PUBLIC RELATIONS: Jennifer Bowcock of Jackson, Georgia
      - SPONSORSHIP: Kristine Marchbanks of Norcross, Georgia
     About Make-A-Wish Foundation of Georgia and Alabama
      - Established in 1995; currently employees 20 full-time employees
      - In 2006, they granted more than 400 wishes in two states
      - Each wish granted averaged approximately $6,000
      - Seventy-eight percent of the Chapter's donations are used for wish-
      - The Chapter has hundreds of regional volunteers
     The Make-A-Wish Foundation is the largest wish-granting charity in the
 world, with 69 Chapters in the United States and its territories. Granting
 more than 12,500 wishes a year and 141,000 wishes in the United States
 since inception, the Make-A-Wish Foundation grants one wish every 41
     *Photos available upon request.

SOURCE Make-A-Wish Foundation