Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa gave a record $125,000 to Make-A-Wish® Hawaii during the hotel's annual community Tree Lighting Ceremony held Dec. 3 in celebration of the holiday spirit of giving. These funds were raised from the 2014 Swing for Wishes charity golf tournament, held Oct. 23 at the Hawaii Prince Golf Course.
"We partner with a lot of nonprofits and I must say that some of the greatest caring that I have seen is here in Hawaii, and one of the most notable efforts is that of Make-A-Wish," said David Nadelman, Area Vice President Hyatt Resorts of Hawaii. "Without the caring on the part of the families, the volunteers, the staff, and the community, we wouldn’t be here tonight looking at all these smiling faces. I thank you Make-A-Wish for all that you do. It is my pleasure to present to you our biggest check to date from our Swing for Wishes golf tournament."
The 8th annual tournament rallied more than 240 golfers on the green in support of Make-A-Wish Hawaii. This year's tournament marked a milestone as golfers "teed off for the 80th wish" in recognition of nearly $500,000 raised from the past seven years that has funded 80 local wishes.
Funds from this year's tournament will be a significant help to our chapter, allowing us to grant more wishes to eligible keiki battling life-threatening medical conditions. The impact of Hyatt's continued support could be seen at the Tree Lighting Ceremony, where numerous wish kid alumni and their families were glowing in high spirits. Some of the wish kids present were newly embarking on their wish experience following recent referrals to our chapter - but even before a wish occurs, the magic begins to unfold in these early moments of hope, strength and joy.
Hawaii Musician and Wish Ambassador Henry Kapono gave a beautiful live performance featuring his new single, "Angel," at the Tree Lighting Ceremony. He recently announced that a portion of proceeds from this song's sales on iTunes will go back to Make-A-Wish Hawaii indefinitely.
Four wish kids helped to light the tree during Hyatt's ceremony - including Kamaile, 5, overcoming a histiocytic disorder. Kamaile had her wish granted to meet Tinkerbell - who is still her favorite princess! She even got a Tinkerbell tattoo during our Holiday Wish Family Dinner held after the Tree Lighting, where Amber Whitworth came out to provide air brush art for the keiki. The other three brave keiki are awaiting their dream trips to Walt Disney World® Resort - all for different reasons.
Special thanks to the team at Hyatt for their incredible support during our annual Season of Wishes! To see more photos from this year's Season of Wishes Light the Night, see our Facebook album here.