Make-A-Wish brings annual ‘Dishes and Wishes’ Tampa fundraiser back for in-person fun

Help the charity raise $300,000 for 30 wishes.

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click to enlarge Make-A-Wish brings annual ‘Dishes and Wishes’ Tampa fundraiser back for in-person fun

The last time the Make-A-Wish Southern Florida chapter’s Dishes and Wishes fundraising event was held in person was 2019. In 2020, it pivoted to a virtual cooking class event, but Make-A-Wish Regional Director Lisa Andrews told Creative Loafing Tampa Bay that during the virtual event, they raised 90% of what the organization raised in 2019. 

“We had meals delivered to our guests and they tuned in to YouTube and watched a livestream of a chef helping them prepare it,” said Andrews.

Dishes and Wishes
Friday, Oct. 15, 7 p.m.-11 p.m. $150 & up
Tampa Armature Works. 1910 N Ola Ave., Tampa

The goal for this year’s event is to raise $300,000 to grant 30 wishes. Right now, the priority is to grant wishes to the children who want to travel; currently, there are 96 kids waiting for their wish to be granted. Andrews said those families were given the option of choosing another wish or waiting until their wish can be granted. 

“We’re trying to raise money to clear our pipeline of kids who’ve been waiting because their travel wishes were put on hold,” said Andrews.

Andrews explained that other types of wishes like golf carts or virtual celebrity meet-and-greets can be done a lot quicker but some kids would much rather meet their celeb faves in person.

“We’re being very flexible and not rushing anyone,” Andrews added.

Due to COVID, the guest list is capped at 300 people for this 2021 return. Guests will be able to sample food from Luv Child, Ava, Eddie V’s, Noble Crust, Nothing Bundt Cakes, On the Fly, Rome and Fig, The Boozy Pig, Top Shelf, and Water + Flour. The bar will be stocked with options from Tito’s Homemade Vodka, St. Pete Distillery, Heaven Hill Distillery and 81Bay Brewing Company. 

Attendees can listen to live music from local solo guitarist Connor as they arrive at Dishes and Wishes then dance the night away later to live tunes from local band No Filter. There’s also a silent auction, live auction, or wish auction, where people can adopt any child’s wish of their choice. The One Cause phone app is an easier option for those who want to keep track of their auction bids instead of spending the entire night pacing back and forth between tables. 

“Everyone who registers for the event, we get their cell phone and email address then send them a link,” said Andrews. “They’ll get alerts on their phones when they’ve been outbid by someone else.”

Tickets for Dishes and Wishes are $150 per person until noon Oct. 15, then they increase to $175 at the door.

“It’ll be such a fun environment. It’s like a big cocktail party,” said Andrews, who added that she wants this year’s Dishes and Wishes to introduce people back and let them know Make-A-Wish is still granting wishes to deserving kids and families. “We believe wishes aren’t just nice, they’re necessary.” 

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