On December 2, 2019, Make-A-Wish South Carolina hosted the inaugural luncheon honoring our new society of outstanding women in our community. Properly known as the W.I.S.H. Society, the freshman group of Honorees was comprised of ten local women recognized for their professional and philanthropic achievements. Each honoree accepted the challenge to raise a minimum of $7,500, which is the average cost of a fully funded wish in S.C. to a child who has been diagnosed with a critical illness. To celebrate the Society’s success and benevolence the luncheon commemorated the culmination of the Society’s season at the prestigious Poinsett Club.
At the luncheon, Honorees along with their guests, event sponsors, and Make-A-Wish patrons dined and saluted their achievements with local wish kids. They also had the honor of meeting Linda Pauling, a co-founder of Make-A-Wish America and mother to Chris Greicius the child whose wish inspired the creation of the foundation. Guests were treated to an inspiring keynote address from Pauling who shared her wish journey over the past 40 years.
Courtney Powell, marketing coordinator for Gregory Pest Solutions, presenting sponsor of the inaugural season, also addressed those in attendance. A longtime partner of the South Carolina chapter, Gregory Pest Solutions has been a steadfast collaborator for wish-granting and a key community ally for giving back in the Upstate.
"Gregory Pest Solutions was honored to be a presenting sponsor for the 2019 W.I.S.H. Society season. Giving back has become ingrained in our company’s culture and we are proud of our company’s participation,” said Powell. “We applaud all of the 2019 Honorees who have done so much good for our community."
The highlight of the luncheon was the award presentations for Honorees. Each Honoree received a commemorative handcrafted wand as a token of appreciation along with the mantel of being named a W.I.S.H. Society 2019 Honoree. In addition, Honoree Stephanie Sewell was named Woman of the Year for successfully raising the most funds for wishes. Sewell raised $15,100, far surpassing her goal of $7,500. In total, the Honorees raised $94,000 to grant wishes.
Professionally, Greenville resident Sewell has served as a leading executive in pharmaceutical sales for 20 years. She is also a certified personal trainer and once served on the first cheer squad for the NFL Carolina Panthers. Sewell has been recognized as both an author and a motivational speaker. Her passion for Make-A-Wish came from seeing how a granted wish made a tremendous difference in the life of family and friends. She continues to look forward to the priceless feeling of helping put a smile on the faces of future wish kids.
Make-A-Wish South Carolina thanks major event sponsors including: Gregory Pest Solutions, Sarah Gilley Properties, Base360, IAG, Amy Randall Photography, Benson Nissan, K2 Productions, Lake Keowee CDJR, Lazerwerk, Orange Theory, Ram Foods, Signature Stone & Stucco, Sparks Industrial Service, St. Claire Signs and Tullco.
On behalf of the many wish kids who have received renewed energy and strength thanks to support from dedicated individuals such as the W.I.S.H. Society we thank the 2019 Honorees: Sara Gregory, Charla Tippin-Smith, Holly Bolling, Karina Mendieta, Sarah Gilley, Sarah O’Dell, Shayla Wilson, Sherrie Turner, Sherry Marlar and Stephanie Sewell. Thank you for transforming lives.
To learn more about the W.I.S.H. Society, visit scwishsociety.org. For more information about Make-A-Wish, visit sc.wish.org.
Make-A-Wish® creates life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. We are on a quest to bring every eligible child's wish to life, because a wish is an integral part of a child's treatment journey. Research shows children who have wishes granted can build the physical and emotional strength they need to fight a critical illness. A wish is granted every 34 minutes, on average, somewhere in the U.S. and its territories. Together with a community of donors and volunteers, Make-A-Wish South Carolina granted 209 wishes last year. The chapter receives funding through private donations, individuals, companies and special events. For more information about Make-A-Wish South Carolina, visit sc.wish.org and discover ways you can help make wishes come true.