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Magic happened when Make-A-Wish raised a record-breaking $175,000 at this year’s Wish Ball. The timing is good, because more wishes are in the pipeline than ever before. Last year at this time, there were 109 wishes to grant. In 2019, there are 171. That’s 14 wishes every month.

A wish isn’t just a fun trip or meeting a superstar. Rather, it is a gift that gives the child hope. It brings families together in a way that may never be possible without Make-A-Wish.

This year, Ellie Pachta was granted her wish to go to Disney World. Ellie has bilateral retinoblastoma, which causes blindness. Cinderella surprised her, and she was showered with gifts from all the Wish Ball sponsors. The joy on her face said it all.

Tom Osborne fondly recalled the time when a child’s wish was to meet the infamous Husker football coach. That moment has stayed with him many years later.

Wish kid Lily Laulenschlager hosted the event with Rod Fowler of KLKN-TV and Gina Sherwood Klein of B107-FM. Lily shared her wish story of how receiving her service dog changed her life. It took three years to train and acclimate the dog to her before Make-A-Wish could send her Kahoot.

The hoops Make-A-Wish goes through are often unseen. Cleaning the plane so that it is germ-free, ensuring doctors are on call or setting up rooms to accommodate special needs are only a few things that go into granting a wish.

Title sponsor Trusted Choice, chairs Drs. Karla and Darek Lester, Petal Creations, Daws Trucking, Edward’s Stone, Carpet Land, Embassy Suites and many sponsors and volunteers made this event possible.

The Make-A-Wish mission is to create life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. For more information on how to contribute or volunteer, contact Melissa Davis-Schmit at

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L Magazine editor

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