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April, 17 2009 - Make-A-Wish Foundation - 2009 Wish Ball

Where: Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa

When: April 17, 2009

Time: 6:00 PM

Ticket Prices: $500 per person

Beneficiary: Make-A-Wish Foundation

Mistress of Ceremonies: Lin Sue Cooney

Honoree(s): Brenda and Kurt Warner

Presenting Sponsor(s):

Co-Chair(s): Tina Majerle

Executive Director: Robin E. Dunn (CEO)

Committee Members: Tina Majerle (chair), Jennifer Blank-Matney (advisor), Patricia Addington, Carmen Blank, Sara Rose Chacon, Marciela Cruz-Bastian, Melanie Ferreira, Elizabeth Garrett, Lindsay Grantham, Brooke Hammett, Karen Hellwig, Christie Jones, Liz Kaplan, Martha Lederer, Kim Lewis, Lisa Lutich, Kate Lyons, Jim Mascola, Chrissy Matsu, Raquel Miller,Tara Razzano, Renee Roebuck, Andrea Stewart, Dana Wayne, Pamela Plummer-Wright, Cindy Zimmermann

Entertainment: Valley Youth Theatre

Music: The Chadwicks

Of note: Tribute video honoring Saulo Morris and Bobbi Kurn; Special Guest...Wish Child Chelsea Chamberlain

Sponsors:, Scottsdale Plaza Resort, Services Group of America, UHAUL, Sonora Quest Laboratories, 12 News, APS, AAA, Humana, Desert Living, US Airways, Eddie's House, Molina Fine Jewelers, Health Net of Arizona, Casino Arizona, American Express, Riester Foundation, Express Flooring, Martha & Jerry Lederer, Brad & Jill Beck

Quote of the evening: ...following a humorous talk by Wish Kid Chelsea Chamberlain..."As much as we gave Chelsea, look at what she has given us." (Tim Jeffries, board chair)

Menu: SALAD: Bistro Style Baby Spinach Salad, Egg, Tomato & Fresh Musrooms; SECOND COURSE: Smoked Chicken, Spinach & Wild Mushroom Crisp, Pecorino Butter, Chive & Overnight Tomato; ENTREE COURSE: Shrimp Scampi Crusted Filet of Beef paired with Poached Butter Fish, Lobster Mashed Potatoes, Wilted Spinach, Thin Beans, Yellow Pumpkin & Patty Pan Squash; TRIO OF DESSERTS: Warm Banana White Chocolate Bread Pudding topped with Chocolate Gelato, Gold Flaked Cheesecake Lollipop, Mini Chocolate Souffle Cake

Attendance: 660

Attire: Black-tie

Special Thanks: The Honorable Senator Jon Kyl, Sister Madonna Marie Bolton, Mr. Bob Meyer, Ms. Andy Kramer, Mr. Tom Chambers, Bobb & Karol Cooper, Mr. Jim Treliving, Mrs. Linda Pauling, Mr. Frank Shankwitz

Information: Liz Kaplan 602-395-9474

Board of Directors: Tim Jeffries (chairman), Mike Gaumond (vice chairman), Mike Tully (vice chairman), Debi Tobin (treasurer), Troy Foster (secretary), Jennifer Blank-Matney, Penny Brand, Karen Christensen, Mayra Ciribassi, Mark El-Tawil, Jon Ferlise, Max Fose, Jeff Griffin, Derrick M. Hall, Lori Mackstaller MD, Jeffry Matthews, Brent Mekosh, Jeff Montag, Gina Montion MD, Douglas Moss, Shawn Olson, Renee Roebuck, Jordan Rose, Robert Rotondo, Frank Shankwitz, Margo Spencer, Linda Thompson JD, C. Bradley Vynalek

Blacktie Photos by:

 Board chair Tim Jeffries, Mary Frances, Carryl & Jon Kyl
Board chair Tim Jeffries, Mary Frances, Carryl & Jon Kyl
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Make-A-Wish Foundation - 2009 Wish Ball

By Myra Richman

The Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Arizona honored celebrity heroes and everyday heroes at the 2009 Wish Ball, Friday, April 17 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa--proving that it doesn’t take superpowers to be a hero in the life of a child.

“Celebrating the superhero in all of us” was the theme of this year’s black-tie gala, which celebrated heroes from all walks of life, from sports and politics to education and philanthropy.

Tina Majerle was chair of the 2009 Wish Ball, and Arizona superheroes Kurt and Brenda Warner were honorary co-chairs of the event.

The Valley Youth Theatre Singers opened the program with their rendition of the song "Superheroes."  Jennifer Blank-Matney and Tina Majerle (chair) welcomed the crowd and thanked everyone for being involved.  A video of wish families told how Make-A-Wish made such a difference to their children, and then paid tribute to longtime supporters Saulo Morris and Bobbi Kurn.

Robin Dunn, CEO of Make-A-Wish Arizona, explained to the audience that everyone attending received the same backpack filled with the same ingredients that every wish kid receives.

The audience sang Happy Birthday to wish kid Chelsea Chamberlain, after she entertained the audience with tales of her wish--meeting her hero (crush?) Josh Harnett.

Kurt and Brenda Warner were recognized at the gala for their passion for children and their ongoing support of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Each year the Kurt Warner First Things First Foundation provides a week-long trip to Walt Disney World® Resort for dozens of deserving children around the country, including children from the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Arizona. Last June, three Arizona wish families joined the Warners and families from St. Louis and Iowa for the seventh annual Florida trip.  One of the children who attended the trip spoke about what it meant to her, and the Warners each spoke about what it meant to them.

Last January, Warner also made a wish come true for 16-year-old Chris,a teen football fan who traveled from Massachusetts to meet Warner, his all-time favorite player. Meeting Warner and attending the Cardinals game kept Chris surrounded by the game he loved, and looking forward to playing again after his medical treatments were complete.

The goal of this year's Wish Ball was to raise $800,000 to fund more than 100 wishes for children like Chris. Tickets included appetizers, cocktails, a gourmet dinner and entertainment.  All proceeds benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Arizona to grant wishes to critically-ill Arizona kids. For more information, call Liz Kaplan at or visit

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