O’FALLON – Tom and Robin Angelo have worked hard through the years to make wishes come true.
While the event is in its 14th year, for the past 13 years, the Angelos have organized a Chicken and Beer Dance to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Make-A-Wish grants the wishes of children two and a half years-old to 18 years-old that have a life threatening condition.
“My wife Robin was a wish coordinator out of St. Louis, which handles the metro area. For six years, she handled all of the wishes in central and southern Illinois. During that time she coordinated over 600 wishes,” said Tom. “We throw this event every year as a way to raise money and awareness for Make-A-Wish. All of the profit goes to the program.”
Robin explained that the average wish costs $10,000. Forty percent of that cost is provided through in-kind supplements, while the remaining sixty percent is cash. The Angelos typically raise enough at their annual Chicken and Beer Dance to pay the cash portion for two to two and a half wishes.
“We won’t know how we did this year for a little while, but we expect it to be up a bit from last year. Every year we learn something different and try to apply it to next year’s event. We’re never truly satisfied and always trying to make it better,” said Tom.
This year’s event gave the opportunity for 10-year-old Ariana to have her wish fulfilled. Ariana’s favorite movie is The Little Mermaid and she loves to watch the Disney Channel. During the event, Princess’s Elsa and Ariel called Ariana to the center area of the room and were on hand when she learned her wish would be granted and that she and her family would be traveling to Walt Disney World.
Kids have the option of making one of four wishes through the Make-A-Wish program. They can wish to be like someone, for example a firefighter or the President of the United States. They can wish to meet someone specific, like a movie star or musician. They can wish to go someplace specific. They can also wish to have something, like a room makeover or a swimming pool.
“Disney World is far and away the most popular wish. The whole family gets to go along and everyone is treated like royalty. It’s a great opportunity for families to briefly forget all of their troubles and enjoy time together,” said Tom.
For more information about Make-A-Wish, please visit www.wish.org.