The Hudson Gateway Association of REALTORS® (HGAR) is sponsoring an exciting “Wish Upon a Star” Cocktail Party to benefit Make-A-Wish® Hudson Valley on Thursday, September 19, from 6 to 10 pm at the Clubhouse at Patriot Hills in Stony Point. Make-A-Wish® Hudson Valley, a non-profit group, grants the wishes of Hudson Valley children who are suffering with life-threatening medical conditions.
This year, 14-year old Anthony Gordon, a “Wish” recipient, will be speaking at the event. Anthony, the grandson of Christine Gordon of BHG Rand Realty in Goshen, was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of 12. Since then, he has had two years of chemotherapy and has one more year of treatments.
Last year, Anthony was granted a $3,500 shopping spree at Palisades Mall in Rockland County. Make-A-Wish sent a limousine to pick up the family and also booked a hotel room for himself, his mother, sister and brother. The family enjoyed dinner, then shopping the following day. Anthony was able to buy a lap top, big flat screen TV, and clothing.
Later, he received a trip to Louisiana a week before the Mardi Gras, and watched them set up for the event. The nurses from Maria Fareri Westchester Children’s hospital served as chaperones.
“He had the best time of his life,” said Christine Gordon. “Because a lot of these children spend months in the hospital, this is a huge deal for their mind and spirit to give them hope that they are getting better, that life can still be good and that people really care about them. I am so grateful for the support this wonderful organization gives to our children.”
Stony Pointer Lauren Shields, the daughter of Jeanne Shields of Keller Williams Hudson Valley Realty in New City, was also a “Wish” recipient. “Lauren’s journey was not an easy one at all, but Make-A-Wish brought such brightness to a time that had been so dark for so long,” said Jeanne Shields.
Lauren, 13, had been a completely healthy child who somehow developed viral myocarditis and underwent a heart transplant at the age of eight. Following the March 2009 procedure, she suffered a stroke and entered a rehabilitation center in June. “Her goal was to be able to walk to school that September – which she did – and her wish was for a bedroom make-over,” added Jeanne Shields.
The new animal-themed room features zebra stripes on the wall, new furniture, a flat screen TV, and even some new clothes. “I had so much fun working with my ‘wish angels’ on my room makeover,” said Lauren Shields. “Now every morning when I wake up, I think of them and I am so grateful.”
Lauren has since regained her vitality and famously campaigns for increased awareness and participation in organ donor programs. She helped get Lauren’s Law passed, which requires New Yorkers to answer whether they wish to donate their organs upon their death on their driver license. Previously drivers could simply ignore the question.
Last year, HGAR raised almost $10,000 for Make-A- Wish® Hudson Valley. “This organization has been making a huge difference in the lives of these children for more than 25 years, and we are so pleased to be able to offer our help,” said Richard Haggerty, HGAR CEO.
Tickets are $60 per person and include a two-hour open bar, three hot food stations, appetizers, passed hors d’oeuvres, coffee and dessert, plus a DJ and dancing. For more information about the event, or to purchase tickets, please visit www.HGAR.com.