Make-A-Wish® Middle Tennessee raised some $250,000 tonight at its third annual “Stars For Wishes” event at Gaylord Opryland Hotel. Hosted by TV personality Melissa Rycroft, the evening was filled with heartfelt performances by Gary Allan, “Stars For Wishes” founder Jonathan Cain (Journey), Scotty McCreery and Street Corner Symphony.
“We’re incredibly grateful for all of the support and donations that have helped us surpass our ‘Stars For Wishes’ goals year,” said President and CEO, Beth Torres. “Thank you for a beautiful evening and for allowing us to continue to fulfill our mission of granting wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.”
Over 600 guests began their evening with a Make-A-Wish silent auction including hundreds of items donated by individuals and local organizations. Guests then enjoyed a four-course meal created by renowned local chefs, Hal Holden-Bache of Lockeland Table, Tandy Wilson of City House and Tyler Brown of the Capitol Grille.
The highlight of the evening involved 12 year-old Wish Kid Jessica as she invited fellow Wish Kid, Makaylan and her family onstage. The crowd erupted as six year-old Makaylan, who has been diagnosed with a Wilms tumor, learned her wish has been granted: she’ll soon take a trip to Disney World with her family.
After dinner, the attendees were treated to a live auction and additional musical performances. Jonathan Cain closed out the evening by presenting a check to Make-A-Wish® Middle Tennessee from the funds he was able to raise on tour with Journey in 2014. Overall, the event raised more than $250,000 thanks to the generous supporters and sponsors, including a $30,000 matching donation from local businessman, Jeff Lynch at Pita Pit.
The Late Party, hosted by the Young Leaders Board of Make-A-Wish Middle Tennessee was also held at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel following the event.