Make-A-Wish hands out over $11K in prizes

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The Make-A-Wish Foundation hosted its 5th Annual Black Tie and Zories fundraiser last Saturday at the Hyatt Regency Saipan and awarded over $11,000 worth of prizes to five raffle winners.

Proceeds will be used to fund the wishes of children who are battling life-threatening illnesses.

According to Annie Gayle, Make-A-Wish Guam and Saipan chapter chairwoman, the foundation has managed to grant 275 wishes on Guam and Saipan for the past 29 years.

Although the children who are granted wishes are suffering critical illnesses, their capability to imagine remains and sustains the foundation’s mission to bring their imagination into reality, said Make-A-Wish Guam and Saipan chapter president Eric Tydingco.

“We can’t help them medically, but what we can, with your help, give them hope, strength, and joy to imagine what it would be like to have an everyday childhood, at least for a brief moment,” he said.

The eligibility of a child to make a wish does not depend on the social and financial status of the children’s parents. Children eligible to get their wish granted don’t have to be terminally ill.

Five raffle packages worth a combined total of over $11,000 highlighted Saturday’s event.

The first bundle was awarded to Mihir Rout, who was awarded over $3,000 worth of prizes that included two bicycles, a child’s helmet, a Seatouch tour session, a year-long gym membership, a Sky Dive Saipan trip, and a gift certificate to The Shack.

The second prize bundle was awarded to Jim Arenovski worth over $1,600 that included Budweiser merchandise, a Kate Spade backpack, a Thanksgiving package, and gift certificates for numerous restaurants.

The third prize bundle was awarded to Chris Nelson, earning him a Michael Kors tote, a night stay and buffet at Kanoa Resort Saipan, gift certificates to different restaurants, and a Seiko wristwatch. The bundle was worth over $1,300.

The fourth prize bundle worth over $1,700 was won by Annie Gayle and consisted of a Michael Kors satchel, gift certificates for Hyatt Regency Saipan, an assortment of liquor, gift certificates to different restaurants, and a pair of Michael Kors sunglasses.

The last bundle, worth over $3,000, was awarded to Joyce Santos, and included a Google Pixel phone with a plan paid for three months, a two-night stay at the Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan, and assorted liquor.

The title for Best Zorie was awarded to Jay Santos and Tina Goodwin for their unique pair of slippers. Both got prize bundles.

The evening’s program included live music by Bridge Capital’s CNMI Got Talent past winners like the Marianas High School Rhythm & Harmony and brother-and-sister vocalists Emily Faye and Lawrence Tubera.

Wish child Kei’Ani Hofschneider was the honored guest at the event. She attended the Wish Night with her mother, Sirena Santos, cousin Angelina Pangelinan, and aunt Fabian Pangelinan.

The foundation will grant Kei’ani’s wish in December when she travels with her parents and cousin Angelina Pangelinan to Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.

Kimberly B. Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.

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