Each year, Make-A-Wish recognizes individuals and organizations that exemplify the very best in support, commitment and passion to the organization and kids in our state. We’re honored to announce these 2015 award recipients:
Brendan Batson Award: Recognition of Maine youth who give substantial time and energy to support Make-A-Wish.
Lilly Burgess, Guilford
|| “She’s kind-hearted and extremely empathetic,” says Kate of her daughter, Lilly, who raised $6,000 in just five and a half weeks. Lilly and her mom worked tirelessly crafting bracelets, selling raffle tickets and hosting bake sales all with one goal in mind: to raise money for Make-A-Wish. They granted one wish and now are well on their way toward their next wish. When asked about her work for Make-A-Wish, Lilly said, “my heart feels happy.”
Community Spirit Award: Recognition of those making significant, long-standing contributions to our cause.
Brewer Kiwanis, Brewer
|| Brewer Kiwanis’ mission to help Maine kids serves as the force behind their increasingly popular and successful Annual Wishing Under the Stars Gala which has raised over $90,000 and helped grant 14 wishes. Rebecca Leaming, development manager, says, “Karl and his group of volunteers work tirelessly to raise fund year-round. Their well-attended Gala helps spread the word about Make-A-Wish and offers attendees ways to help kids in Maine.”
Mike Williams Society: Recognition of volunteers who have given at least 300 hours of time or granted 15 or more wishes.
Marilyn Carey, New Limerick
||Marilyn has traveled Aroostook County serving as a Wish Granter on 16 wishes. She’s also organized a wish assist and helped with fundraising events. “Her generous passion for our mission and selfless dedication to making each and every Wish Kid feel special in their time of need ensure the families we serve always have the very best Make-A-Wish experience," says Program Director Kate Vickery.
Vicki Hussar, Minot
||Vicki has donned many hats during her 10-year involvement as a Make-A-Wish volunteer. She’s served as a Wish Granter, founded the Tee-It-Up Ladies Golf Tournament, and has raised over $10,000 at her semi-annual Diva Mall bake sale. “Vicki is one of our go-to volunteer for events and logistics,” says Program Director Kate Vickery. “She’s energetic, driven and knows how to get things done,” Vickery goes on to add.
Becky Marr, Portland
||Becky has served on the Make-A-Wish Board for nearly six years. She
heads the Governance Committee, chaired the Portland Fantasy Auction,
and was the originating founder and Chair of Chips ‘N Dips. She is a
locally-known painter who donates all of her artwork to charity;
countless Maine-based organizations have benefited from funds raised via
her work. Board Chair Stacy Varney says, “Becky is a tremendous asset.
Her dedication and hard work as a board member and volunteer
demonstrates her great passion for the mission and children of Maine.”
Pepsi, Frito Lay and Budlight
Corporate Partner Award: Recognition of Maine business whose commitment to outstanding fundraising grants multiple wishes.
||Pepsi, Frito Lay and Budlight combine efforts each year to host The
Power of Three Golf Tournament to benefit Make-A-Wish Maine. Development
Manager Rebecca Leaming says, “the trio understands and values the
impact a Wish can have on a child. The cumulative proceeds raised
exceeds $50,000, thereby granting eight Maine wishes.” The Power of
Three Golf Tournament will again be held at Natanis Golf Course in
Vassalboro this fall.
Tom Peaco Impact Award: Recognition of an individual or organization that made a selfless impact embodying the heart of the mission.
Ralph Austin, Kennebunk
||Ralph’s commitment began as a founding board member in 1992. He served
on the Board, including a Chairman position, for 12 years. Ralph is a
mainstay at countless fundraising events and has donated hundreds of
hours to a mission that he loves. Tom Peaco, the leader for which this
award is named, said, “Ralph is among the organizations most loyal and
generous donors, through the annual campaign, event support and a
planned gift that will ensure his commitment to Make-A-Wish lasts in
perpetuity. He’s been vital to the success of the mission.”
Chris Grecius Society: Society induction for individuals and organizations who have donated over $100,000 to Make-A-Wish.
Cambridge Cruisers, Cambridge
||Cambridge Cruisers ATV Club began their annual Cornfield Ride to honor a
local Wish Kid. Since the first event over 10 years ago, six event
organizers and hundreds of event attendees raised over $100,000 and
granted 15 wishes. The family-friendly event includes a barbecue,
auction, and moonlight ATV ride through cornfields. “Helping kids is
what they’re all about,” says Marketing Director Sonya Purington, “the
whole community comes together. It’s such an inspiration for fellow