Matt Pick received the organization’s Rising Star Award, intended for a volunteer new to Make-A-Wish who has made a significant contribution through ideas, initiative and follow-through. Pick was reengaged with Make-A-Wish in 2014 and immediately went to work chairing local events, recruiting new volunteers and securing donations from local companies.
Bri Niedermyer was awarded the Local Committee Volunteer of the Year. Since Niedermyer started volunteering in 2013, she has never hesitated to go above and beyond getting more involved in the committee and learning about where she could be the best asset.
Southwest Airlines was the recipient of the chapter’s Abracadabra Award, for creating a magical, unique experience for a wish family or for going the extra distance to make what seems “impossible”, possible. Although small in numbers, Southwest’s team at Des Moines International Airport consistently proves their might, as well as their passion for local wish kids. Wish families are greeted by Southwest employees bearing gifts, allowed to board first, given the opportunity to meet the pilots and even take a seat in the Captain’s chair.
Hy-Vee was named Corporate Vendor of the Year for Make-A-Wish Iowa. The company has been a faithful supporter of Make-A-Wish Iowa over the years, most notably as presenting sponsor of Jolly Holiday Lights for the past ten years.
“Hy-Vee is a strong contributor to Make-A-Wish throughout the state, providing sponsorships, auction items, food donations and even hosting fundraising events for Make-A-Wish,” shared Chris Voggesser, CEO of Make-A-Wish Iowa. “Their commitment to maintaining strong community partnerships with local organizations is invaluable and, in our case, helps make dozen of wishes come true to kids who are living with life-threatening medical conditions.”
Sammons was given the Share the Power of a Wish® award, a prestigious award is reserved for those individuals or organizations whose compassion and commitment for Make-A-Wish far exceed expectations. The company is not only a long time generous donor, they are a full-on partner in the organization’s mission to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.
“Whether they are sponsoring a display at Jolly Holiday Lights, allowing company employees to volunteer, spending days at the park setting up displays or supporting wishes directly, Sammons truly understands the value of a wish and the impact it can have in the life of wish kids and their families,” said Voggesser. In 2014, Sammons also provided a generous donation to update Make-A-Wish Iowa’s office with new technology equipment, enhancing the ability of the staff to deliver wishes to the children and families they serve.
Jolly Holiday Lights earned the Top Internal Fundraising Event award for their outstanding success in the 2013 season. The event’s 2014 season just finished earlier this month.
“We’re proud of how the Des Moines area supports wishes throughout the state,” said Jamie Rasko, Communications Manager. “Whether someone has donated their time, talents or made a financial contribution, the metro has shown great support of our wish kids.”
Make-A-Wish Iowa granted 153 wishes in their last fiscal year and anticipate granting 185 in our current year – that’s about a wish every other day.
Award winners will be recognized at Make-A-Wish Iowa’s Big Hats, Horses and Hope Gala at Prairie Meadows Event Center on May 2nd. Tickets can be purchased at iowa.wish.org or by calling (515) 334-2636.
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About Make-A-Wish® Iowa
Make-A-Wish® Iowa grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. The Foundation has granted wishes to more than 3,000 children with life-threatening medical conditions since 1987 and currently grants a wish every other day in Iowa. To find out more, visit iowa.wish.org. Share the Power of a Wish®.