Make-A-Wish Hudson Valley Announces Honorees for Annual Wish Ball

Tarrytown-based Make-A-Wish® Hudson Valley announced today that they will honor ShopRite Supermarket Inc., WNBC’s Darlene Rodriquez and WHUD’s Mike Bennett at their annual Wish Ball – Restoring Hope with a Wish on Friday, May 13, 2022, at Brae Burn Country Club in Purchase, New York.

Shoprite Supermarket, through their annual April point of sale campaign at their dozens of locations throughout the Hudson Valley has raised over a half million dollars over the past five years to support the chapter’s efforts to grant life changing wishes to children with critical illnesses.  Shoprite joins Emmy Award winning anchor Darlene Rodriguez of WNBC’s “Today in New York” and Mike Bennett of WHUD’s “Mike & Kacey in the Morning”, as honorees for their more than decade-long commitment to the chapter, including serving as co-hosts of the annual Wish Ball.

The gala, which is Make-A-Wish® Hudson Valley’s largest annual fundraiser, will be held in-person for the first time in two years due to the pandemic.  Supporters from throughout the region will attend to help restore hope and grant the pending wishes of more than 220 local children with critical illnesses.

The evening’s festivities get underway with cocktails and a silent auction at 6 PM, followed by dinner, dancing, inspiring wish stories and a live auction at 7 PM.

The event celebrates the donors, families and volunteers who have helped grant the wishes of over 3,000 kids since the non-profit was established 35 years ago.

“It is our distinct honor and privilege to honor three of our biggest supporters in ShopRite, Darlene and Mike for their contributions and dedication to help our important mission to succeed,” said Kristine Burton, President and CEO of Make-A-Wish Hudson Valley: “Through their support, ShopRite has profoundly transformed the lives of over 65 children with their fundraising efforts, and the dynamic duo of Darlene and Mike and their impassioned voices at our Gala every year for close to two decades has no doubt inspired others to support our wish kids.”

The Wish Ball program will feature a keynote speech from wish mom Chardell Buchanan, whose son Ben wished to go to Walt Disney World in February and was one of the chapter’s first travel-related wishes granted since 2020.

“While travel was put on hold during the pandemic, we never stopped granting life-changing wishes for our wish kids, with over 130 wishes granted during the past two years. With so many travel wishes resuming again, we anticipate increased wish costs but are thrilled that even more children will be able to experience the power of a wish just like Ben,” Burton stated.

Wish kids Bianca Muniz, who wished to go to Disneyland in 2007 and is now an inspiring singer, and Ben Koch, who had his wish granted to go to the 2017 MLB All-Star Game, will serve as Wish Ball co-hosts for the evening’s festivities.

The Wish Ball will feature live and silent auctions, cocktails, dinner and dancing. Tickets are $450 per person or $4,500 for a table of 10. Also available are sponsorship opportunities ranging from $5,000 to $15,000 and Journal ads ranging from $100-$1,000.  To purchase tickets and to learn more, visit hudson.wish.org/wishball or call Sara Rizzi, Manager of Events, at the Wish House; (914) 478-9474.

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