Monday, July 16th, 2018

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Make-A-Wish “BIG Wish Gala”

The annual BIG Wish Gala to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation was chaired by Cheryl Levanduski. Held at the Cleveland Marriott Downtown, nearly 500 guests turned out to support the organization that grants wishes to children with life threatening conditions. Doug Kelly, president and CEO of Make-A Wish Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana, emphasized that 80 percent of the children go on to lead normal lives. The granting of a wish is an essential part of treatment, recharging a child’s spirit and often marking a turning point in the battle.

Mr. Kelly made several award presentations. The Hope Stout Society Award, which recognizes donors of $1 million and above, was given to Things Remembered for its donation of more than $6.6 million. Lisa Gavales, chairman, president and CEO of Things Remembered, accepted on behalf of the company. The Chris Greicius Giving Society Award is named for the seven-year-old who was the first wish recipient 34 years ago. Several generous corporate and private donors received this award: The Catan Experience, Levin Furniture, Medical Mutual, Olympic Steel, Randy and Amy Paine, Sherwin-Williams, and Dave and Karen Yankovitz. Erin Gibson, a social worker at Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital, was honored with the Medical Professional of the Year Award.

BIG Wish Gala was expected to exceed $375,000 for the local Make-A-Wish chapter. STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHS BY CAROLINE R.

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