Celebration of Hope for Make a Wish Foundation

We were invited to attend the 5th annual Celebration of Hope tonight, an annual fundraiser for the Make a Wish Foundation of Central and Western NC. What an amazing event!!!!! Hope Stout had a rare Bone Cancer and passed away before she could see(here on Earth) what an impact that she has made on soooo many children’s lives. Her wish was that all the children on the MAW waiting list were granted wishes. How incredible is that for a 12 yr old? There were many well known Charlotte area people in attendance. But the highlight for me was the auction. We sat next to a table with Coach Joe Gibbs, his son JD and JD’s family including JD’s son Taylor who is in maintenance treatment for luekemia for the next two years. When the auction item up for bid was 2 tickets to the SuperBowl donated by the Carolina Panthers, yes that’s right THE SUPER BOWL, Tom Brady, 19-0, The Pats, Eli Manning, NY Giants. OK you get the picture, Coach Gibbs, through one of his grandsons bidding against Mark Richardson, president of the Carolina Panthers. When all was said and done Mr Richardson lost the bidding to Coach Gibbs and then turned around and matched the donation of $40,000. So Mr Richardson donates $40,000 and Coach Gibbs donates $40,000. But wait, there’s more……. Coach Gibbs then turned around and donated the tickets back to MAW , considering the average cost of a wish is $6000, these two men donated over 13 wishes to children battling for their lives.
What an amazing testament to the character of these men. These gentlemen have won fans for life in the Hawkins household and not for things accomplished on the football field!!!! Thank you Joe Gibbs and Mark Richardson.


I am married to Wendy and dad to two boys Brandon and Jeremy with Juvenile Batten Disease, a fatal neurodegenerative childhood disorder. I am also active with the Batten Disease Support and Research Association.

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