Make-A-Wish Connecticut raises more than $525,000 at annual ball

Greenwich residents John and Gina Filippelli were joined at the gala by Yankees manager Joe Girardi and his wife, Kim, who are also town residents.

Greenwich residents John and Gina Filippelli were joined at the gala by Yankees manager Joe Girardi and his wife, Kim, who are also town residents.

Make-A-Wish Connecticut’s annual “Celebrating Wishes” Ball, recently held at the Greenwich Country Club, has ensured it will continue to make dreams come true, raising more than $525,000 at this year’s event.

The money will go directly to the organization’s mission in Connecticut of granting the wishes of children battling life-threatening medical conditions.

The Celebrating Wishes Ball featured dinner, music, dancing and a wonderful display of live and silent auction items for bid.

The evening’s program also featured the stories of two brave young boys who were recently the recipients of a wish — Blake of Westport, whose wish was to swim with penguins in the Galapagos Islands, and Alex of Darien, whose wish was to travel to the rainforests of Hawaii.

Sharing their stories of hope, strength and joy, the boys paid the mission forward by revealing their experiences with the 400 guests in attendance.

“Both Blake and Alex are the truest representation of our Make-A-Wish family and what it means to share the power of a wish,” said Michael Dominick, community and media relations manager for Make-A-Wish Connecticut. “They both showed such courage by standing in front of friends, family and complete strangers and sharing their most personal experiences, in hopes that they can make a difference and help another child’s wish come true. We were so honored to celebrate their presence at the ball this year. They’re an inspiration to all of us.”

Among the ball’s distinguished guests were emcees Jodi Applegate and YES Network’s Michael Kay, along with honorary event chairs Chris “Mad Dog” Russo of Sirius XM Radio and YES Network’s John Flaherty and former MLB Star David Cone. New York Yankees Manager Joe Girardi, a Greenwich resident, was also in attendance to present this year’s honored Wish Kids with awards for their strength and courage.

To learn more about the Celebrating Wishes Ball or to become involved with Make-A-Wish Connecticut, visit Ct.wish.org.

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