HOLYOKE — As the organization celebrates its 40th anniversary, Make-A-Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island was presented on Oct. 11 with a donation of $38,000 from Friends on a Mission.
Friends on a Mission was started by three friends — Bob Perry, Jenn Schimmel, and Walt Tomala — who wanted to bring together their networks to support good work done in their community.
Friends on a Mission’s Party for a Purpose fundraising event — a night of cocktails, food, and festivities held at the Delaney House in Holyoke — was attended by more than 130 friends. The total raised was through the generosity of individual attendees as well as major sponsors, including hero sponsors PeoplesBank, Meyers Brothers Kalicka P.C., Walt Tomala, and Bob and Bobbi Perry; and wish sponsors Terri Shaw Barrett, FastenMaster PRO Driven, Financial Development Agency, and Freedom Credit Union. The donation will benefit the Make-A-Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island mission of granting life-changing wishes for local children with critical illnesses.
This year’s inaugural Party for a Purpose celebrated the four-year anniversary of Schimmel’s stem-cell transplant.
“We were thrilled to do this event and support local wishes,” she said. “With the support of our friends and local relationships, we were able to provide over $38,000 to support wishes in the Western Mass. community. Above all else, we wanted to share our time with our friends and give back to the community we love so much.”
For 40 years, Make-A-Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island has relied on the support of community partners to deliver hope and joy through wishes granted.
“We talk a lot about the ripple effect of a wish and how so many people’s lives are changed by their involvement with our organization,” said George Deveney, chief Advancement officer for Make-A-Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island. “For a group of people to come together to celebrate friendship and raise such an impactful donation is inspiring, and we’re really grateful to Friends on a Mission and their network.”