Out & About: Make-A-Wish Annual Wish Night Gala

Amid resplendent blue and gold decorations that mirrored a sky at twilight, performers twirled on stage, attendees bid on auction items, and kids experienced their wishes magically coming to life at Make-A-Wish North Texas’ annual Wish Night Gala.

Make-A-Wish North Texas, a chapter of the national Make-A-Wish Foundation, was founded in 1982 and serves 162 counties in North Texas. They aim to grant heartfelt wishes to children with critical illnesses, providing hope for both them and their families. To fulfill the dreams of over 1,100 children in North Texas, the organization hosts an annual gala to raise funds. 

“Wish Night is not just a gala — it’s a celebration of hope and possibility,” CEO Kim Elenez said. “Every wish granted is a beacon of light for children and families navigating challenging circumstances.” 

Co-chaired by Alison Delzell and Paige Kelly in early May, this year’s event exceeded all expectations. With 890 guests in attendance, the gala raised $2.2 million, surpassing the live auction goal by $100,000 and the paddle raise goal by $325,000. Several “wish kids” also got their wishes granted that night.

Both diagnosed with cancer, sisters Sydney and Sasha Saynor received surprises on stage at the gala. Sydney, the elder 18-year-old sister, who spent weeks isolated in the hospital over the course of her treatment, developed a passion for illustration and art. Oklahoma Christian University granted her wish of having a paid college tuition, providing her tuition for eight semesters of undergraduate study. 

Her sister, 12-year-old Sasha, who shares her sister’s passion for the fine arts, was granted her dream of participating in a Broadway experience this summer. 

“I’m inspired by the resilience of wish kids, and I’m committed to making sure every child’s wish becomes a reality,” Elenez said.

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