On May 20th, Magnolia Plantation and Gardens hosted Wishes in Bloom to benefit Make-A-Wish® South Carolina. The spectacular garden party celebrated the renewed strength and hope created by a wish granted while raising funds to grant more wishes. Event sponsors, attendees, and guests succeeded. Together, they raised a record amount of more than $95,000. With these funds, Make-A-Wish South Carolina will be able to grant approximately twelve and half additional wishes to children in the state battling critical illnesses to restore hope and joy to their lives.
Magnolia Plantation’s famous romantic garden nestled along the scenic Ashley River was the perfect backdrop as guests enjoyed a fabulous cocktail hour and live musical entertainment while bidding on premier auction items. To make more wishes possible for other children donors placed live auction bids on high-end items and dined on dishes prepared by some of Charleston’s top chefs.
Throughout the evening the program offered remarkable stories about the life-changing impact wishes have – beyond just medicine. Guests discovered the deeply moving and impactful way lives are powerfully altered by following the wish experience of Goose Creek wish kid, Jose, through virtual and live presentations. Guest speaker, Mike Ciprari of SJC Drums happily shared his story with attendees and told how his life has been impacted by helping grant Jose’s wish to have a professional drum set.
The highlight of the evening was the on-stage live reveal of 16-year-old Ashlyn’s upcoming wish to experience the fashion and culture of Tokyo. Ashlyn has battled Hodgkin's lymphoma and to keep a positive frame of mind during hospital stays, Ashlyn focused on reading trend forecasts and learning how fashion and culture connect. Following these topics online helped her stay optimistic towards her dream of a career as a trend forecaster. At Wishes in Bloom, Andrea Serrano, the Charleston Shop Curator, revealed Ashlyn’s wish is coming true and surprised Ashlyn with a special enhancement to prepare for her wish - a personal day of shopping with Andrea in the Lowcountry! Together, Andrea, the retail partners at Mount Pleasant Towne Centre and supporters like those in attendance at Wishes in Bloom are elevating Ashlyn’s wish to a life-changing experience. With their help, Ashlyn's wish will help her feel confident and optimistic as she heads to Tokyo and realizes her dreamed-about career is possible despite having cancer.
Tom Johnson, Magnolia’s executive director, said, “We are absolutely thrilled by the quality of this event, the support it received and the stories of the brave young people whose lives are helped by the generosity of the donors. Last year’s event was a notable beginning, but the success of this year’s effort further amplifies the generosity of the city and the hospitality industry. We could not have done this without the local chefs who donated their time and talent, and the companies and individuals who contributed items for the silent and live auctions. Special thanks go to Magnolia’s volunteer corps, whose unwavering support of the gardens makes what we do possible. My hats off to all!”
Bill Tiller, Make-A-Wish South Carolina’s President and CEO, said, “Make-A-Wish South Carolina’s partnership with Magnolia Plantation and Gardens is one of joy and significant impact. By hosting Wishes In Bloom and supporting the event with considerable investments, Magnolia is committed to transforming the lives of wish kids and their families, one wish at a time. This year, Wishes In Bloom raised more than $95,000 for granting the heartfelt wishes of children living with serious medical conditions in the Lowcountry and throughout South Carolina. We are delighted and deeply grateful for our partnership with Magnolia and the many fine people in the Magnolia Plantation family.”
Major event sponsors included: Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, Charleston ENT & Allergy, Motley Rice Attorneys at Law, Charleston Radio Group, Fox Audio Visual, Eventworks, and Low country Chi Omega Alumnae Chapter.
The evening was a showcase for Charleston’s top chefs Steve Manall, Palmetto Café at Belmond Place Charleston; Marc Collins, Circa 1886; Marcus Middleton, Middleton Made Cuisines; Beau Beckner, Home Team BBQ; Corey Fox; and Sermet Aslan, Southernterranean Cuisine-Bar. Specialty items were provided by Beyond Expectations, MIX Charleston and Wild Flour Pastry.
View pictures of the evening and read more event highlights at: wishesinbloomsc.org. Mark your calendars for next year’s event on May 19, 2019.