Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida was searching for an event that would be fun and inclusive of the Southwest Florida communities that would showcase the impact of a wish for a wish child and his or her family.
A former chair of the President’s Council of Collier County for Make- A-Wish® Southern Florida, suggested a Celebration of Life cruise. This cruise would allow our community, wish children and their families a place to gather and share the power of a wish®.
The Naples Princess as a venue seemed perfect since it was large enough to accommodate our wish kids and their families as well as community supporters. Taking a boat ride is a luxury many of our wish families cannot afford particularly when medical expenses and appointments dominate their lives. We wanted a brief moment in time where families could be together, relaxing and enjoying the experience without concerns about costs or in fact even tomorrow. For most of our families being on the Naples Princess was the first time on a boat. More importantly, it was the first time in a long time that they were together laughing and carefree.
The support of local business and restaurant owners has been overwhelming and has contributed to the success of the Celebration of Life cruise. This past June was the 3rd Annual Celebration of Life Cruise. In its three-year history, more than 100 children and their families have participated and the event has raised more than $7,400, enough to grant a local child’s wish.
Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. The Southern Florida chapter grants a wish every 16 hours and has granted more than 9,000 wishes since its inception 29 years ago. With the average cost of a wish being $5,000, Make-A-Wish relies on fundraisers, corporate support and donations from the public to bring sunshine into the lives of families when they need it most.