BILOXI (WLOX) -- "It makes a huge difference in the life of a child," said Shellie Moses, Director of the Make-A-Wish Foundation in South Mississippi.
Fourteen-year-old Kaylin Giroir is just one of the children whose wish has come true thanks to the Make-A-Wish foundation in South Mississippi.
"Sometimes, unfortunately, these are memories that have to last the family a lifetime because not always do the children survive. But the children who do survive, it creates wonderful memories for them as well," Moses said.
Moses has seen hundreds of wishes granted during her seven years as Make-A-Wish director. Right now there are 40 young people who are waiting on wishes to come true.
"This year is definitely a downturn for us in the number of wishes that we've granted. We usually average between 80 and 100 wishes each year in our state. This year, we're probably around 60, and normally we do 30 to 35 wishes in South Mississippi. We're nowhere near that," Moses said.
While some wishes are for trips or to meet celebrities, others like Elise Reinfeldt wanted to make wishes come true for other children. Reinfeldt's wish was for a day care to be built in Ocean Springs to help people after Katrina.
Friday night's Martini Shakedown fundraiser will tap into the generosity of South Mississippians.
"It's definitely the shot we need. Not only with our Martini Shakedown, but we've also been given a fantastic opportunity by our national organization for our wish fulfillment program. They have approached us and said if we are able to raise $50,000, unfortunately, outside of the Martini Shakedown, they will match that," Moses said.
Moses said she hopes their party with a purpose helps even more wishes come true.
The Martini Shakedown is being held at the Beau Rivage Casino in the Camellia Ballroom. It begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $50 a person and includes food and drinks. The event is open to the public. For more information, call (228) 575-8691.
By Toni Miles
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