South Florida Make-A-Wish hopes to fund 25 kids’ dreams at Tampa charity event

Dishes & Wishes happens at Armature Works.

click to enlarge South Florida Make-A-Wish hopes to fund 25 kids’ dreams at Tampa charity event

Make-A-Wish Foundation is in the business of granting the wish of every child diagnosed with a critical illness, no matter how extravagant. In the United States and its territories, on average, a wish is granted every 34 minutes.

As for the Southern Florida Chapter of Make-A-Wish, the foundation covers 22 counties in Florida and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Over the last three decades, the chapter has granted over 11,000 wishes. Last year alone 600 of those wishes were made to children and their families; 120 of wishes belonged to children in the Tampa Bay area. 

“The average wish for a child is $8,000. We include the entire family so that means anyone who lives in the household. We don’t want to leave anyone out,” explains Make-A-Wish Regional Director Lisa Andrews.

To help fundraise for the wishes, the Tampa Bay region throws an annual event called Dishes & Wishes. When the event first started over 20 years ago, its original name was “Night of the Iguana." It was a pub crawl at the old Green Iguana in Ybor City. Unfortunately, attendance dwindled after the recession hit around 2008 (about when they Ray’s made their World Series debut).

The 23rd Annual Dishes & Wishes returns to Armature Works for the second year in a row, next Friday, October 25. If all goes well, and the event sells out, Andrews says they’ll raise enough funds to grant 25 wishes to kids diagnosed with a critical illness across Tampa Bay. 

From 7 p.m.-11 p.m., attendees can sample 15 of the area’s top restaurants like Besito Mexican, Cooper’s Hawk, and Empamamas alongside breweries like 3 Daughters, 81Bay Brewing, and Coppertail Brewing Co. Tito’s vodka is handling the open bar.

A silent auction is also happening in the week leading up to the event, and the auction website, OneCause, sends notifications if you’ve been outbid or if you snagged the prize. “The cool thing is you can go bid on the things you want ahead of time, set [your] maximum bid, and then go have fun,” Andrews explains.

Edwin McCain and Sister Hazel’s Ken Block and Drew Copeland are providing live music for the evening, so do-gooders can sip, eat and dance after racking up good karma.

Andrews says her vision is to grant the wish of every eligible child; Dishes & Wishes is a way to make her dream come true, while giving locals a taste of the best eats in town.

“[The event] gives people an opportunity to come and support our mission and have fun. They also get to taste food from some of the top restaurants in Tampa Bay.”

Fri. Oct. 25, 7 p.m.-11 p.m. $150 & up. Armature Works, 1910 N. Ola Ave., Tampa.

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