Make-A-Wish New Hampshire Reveals A Wish Come True - Chapter Holiday Party Sets the Stage for A Night of Wishes

The winter chill outside last night warmed the hearts of the 180 people who gathered inside Manchester Country Club to support the New Hampshire Chapter’s annual Holiday Party for Make-A-Wish New Hampshire. Chapter President Jonathan Oglebay, senior vice president/CFO, Bellwether Community Credit Union in Manchester, welcomed everyone to the 30th Annual Holiday Auction with his sincerest thanks to the entire New Hampshire Chapter and holiday committee volunteer members, the credit unions, sponsors, vendors, and all who attended for a great evening of fun and fundraising.

He expressed special thanks to this year’s event sponsors:  GoldBellwether Community Credit Union, Holy Rosary Credit Union, New England Employee Benefits Company, and, Service Credit Union; Silver – St. Mary’s Bank, Wipfli/Macpage, and Wolf & Company, P.C.; Holly – Marketing Communications, New England Communications, Raymond James, and Tricorp Federal Credit Union; Candy Cane – CU Direct, Customized Service Concepts, LLC, Performance Trust, and Synergent.

New Hampshire Social Responsibility Committee Chairman Brian Hughes, President/CEO of Holy Rosary Credit Union praised the New Hampshire Chapter for hosting a wonderful event with the biggest crowd he has seen. He updated the group on the Committee’s recent activities which included the MAW Calendar kick off with Governor Sununu, the calendar sales and the current goal of $185,000 which he was hopeful from last night’s event would extend beyond the goal with a repeat donation of $200,000. “The Committee is grateful for the Chapter’s support.”

Julie Baron, CEO, Make-A-Wish New Hampshire, was grateful for everyone’s generosity that continues to bring the joy of a wish to children facing critical illness across New Hampshire, “We are still on cloud 9 that we were able to grant 91 life-changing wishes for kids in New Hampshire this fiscal year. We journey on knowing that together we can reach our ultimate goal - A Wish for every eligible child.”

Baron shared a special story from this past Sunday’s annual Wish Family Holiday Party, “In every corner of the room you could see families connecting, rejoicing and enjoying the MAW family that your support as a credit union team has helped to build over the last 24 years. It was a special pre-party that took my breath away on Sunday. Little Parker recently had a heart transplant and was unable to join the rest of the children and their families in the afternoon for the festivities. He couldn’t be exposed to germs yet. Knowing this, we invited Parker to come an hour early to experience the magic before everyone arrived. Parker is 9 and wishes to create his own video game. He’s been working for months from his hospital room drawing his characters, creating his storyline and working with his wish granters to bring his vision to life. It was amazing to watch him enter the room, every volunteer preparing for the party stopped to hang out with Parker. As he sat with Santa, and Santa asked him what he would like for Christmas, he whispered these words and handed Santa a letter… ‘Dear Santa, My Christmas wish is for my heart donor family to have a good Christmas, I am just happy to be home. Love Parker.’ It was his letter to Santa that brought each of us back to why these wish children are so precious to have in our lives and the strength we get from them as they battle through illness.

Baron then moved on to the highlight of the night - a special wish reveal for Wish Child Allysa whose wish was coming true as the entire room watched. Barone announced, “Alyssa, we are bursting at the seams with excitement and thrilled to reveal to you here with our closest friends that indeed your wish is coming true!” She wished for her 1998 Jeep Wrangler to be “Blinged-Out.” Baron presented Alyssa with a small gift basket for the Jeep and said, “now the fun begins as we take your vision and create your very special ride.” Alyssa, a 15-year-old sophomore at Pinkerton Academy in Derry, is currently fighting thyroid cancer and hopes to work in the medical field after college. Some of the things she has dreamed about are a new front bumper and the entire Jeep to be black along with new rims and tires and a Bluetooth stereo. Alyssa and her family were over the moon at the announcement of her wish come true.

Guest entertainment for the evening featured Comedian Jimmy Dunn, an actor most recognized as Sean McCarthy from the CBS sitcom, The McCarthy’s. His quick wit and humor kept the crowd laughing throughout the show as he zeroed in on members of the audience. Following his performance, Dunn helped with the live auction as guest auctioneer keeping the crowd engaged before winding down for the evening.  

Oglebay’s early prediction for the total proceeds to be donated to Make-A-Wish NH is more than $20,000 (final number will be announced at a later date) will be donated from the chapter event.

The Social Responsibility Committee extends special thanks to all who helped make the New Hampshire Chapter holiday auction a tremendous success! As summed up by Baron, “We are grateful every day for your partnership as we remember the early days…The year all of the credit unions came aboard the MAW family…we granted 19 wishes that year…As an association and team, the New Hampshire Credit Unions have helped transform our organization and the work that we do. We are better because of your leadership.”