Make-A-Wish Arizona Wish Ball Raises $3 Million Toward Future Arizona Wishes

Posted By on April 16, 2018

By Tyler Butler

Three hundred future wishes will be granted to local children facing serious medical conditions thanks to the 2018 Make-A-Wish Gala.

This year’s theme, “A Wish Come True,” was appropriate given the strides that were made to allow for many children to receive a wish. This year’s success was made possible in large part thanks to the continued support from the Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation.

Renee Parsons, who has been a Make-A-Wish board member for the past six years, was honored and during her remarks said “There are three things that bring happiness to our lives: someone to love, having a purpose, and something to look forward to. It’s this third thing that Make-A-Wish Arizona brings to our Arizona Wish Kids.”

Parsons went on to share that foundation would be pledging an additional $1 million.

“When we have something to look forward to, something special, that makes us feel special, miracles can happen. This is what Make-A-Wish is all about,” she said.

The generosity of the Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation with contributions from Title Sponsor Phusion Projects and Discover and the kindness of the 1,000 guests in attendance led to a massive fundraising total for this event of $3 million.

Elizabeth Reich, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish Arizona said that she “was in awe of the generosity of the guests, and the impact that generosity will have on future wish kids right here in Arizona.”

Event co-chairs Jill Krigsten Riley and Mari Lederman included several meaningful moments in the evening’s program including a wish kid moment, silent and live auctions and musical entertainment.

More than nine wish families were in attendance to speak to guests about the transformational power of a wish.

Photos by Loren Anderson Photography.


  • Wish Kid Hannah Solomon on stage with host Catherine Anaya
  • Wish Kid Christian with brother Anthony and mom Brenda
  • Title Sponsor Phusion Projects
  • Rod & Jill Riley
  • Martha Solomon, Polly Jarman, Todd Jarman, Wish Kid Hannah Solomon, Leliland Solomon_
  • Mari Lederman and Jill Krigsten Riley, Wish Ball 2018 co-chairs
  • Make-A-Wish Founder Linda Pauling with Wish Kid Charlotte
  • Jill Krigsten Riley, Wish Kid William, Wish Kid Michael and Mari Lederman
  • Jessica & RJ Suzuki
  • Jay Petkunas & Ian Lopatin
  • Elizabeth Flemming Wish Son, Wish Kid Raiden and Col Frank Milstead, director of AzDPS
  • Catherine Anaya & Doug Saunders
  • Brad and Amy Vynalek with Nicole and Dan Johnson
  • Bidding for Wishes
  • Auctioneer Letitia Frye with Jay Petkunas
Tyler Butler

About Tyler Butler

Tyler Butler is the fashion and society writer for Frontdoors Media. She is a corporate social responsibility practitioner, columnist, blogger and influencer. Through her endeavors with her firm 11Eleven Consulting and her column and blog, Giving In Style, Tyler is connecting communities, companies and causes to make positive change possible.