HG Realtor Foundation Raises Nearly $27,000 For Make-A-Wish H.V. at Masquerade Ball Gala

Mary Prenon | October 2017

The 2017 HGAR Make-A-Wish Committee PHOTO BY: MOLINOFF PHOTOGRAPHY

CENTRAL VALLEY—The Hudson Gateway Realtor Foundation, a division of the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors, raised approximately $27,000 for Make-A-Wish Hudson Valley at its “Black & White Masquerade Ball” held recently at the Falkirk Estate and Country Club in Central Valley. The Sept. 28th event marked the 20th anniversary of the association’s support of the non-profit group that grants the wishes of Hudson Valley children with life-threatening medical conditions.

Over the past 20 years, the Association has raised more than $315,000 for Make-A-Wish Hudson Valley. “This year’s event marked a milestone of supporting this very special organization,” said HGAR Chief Executive Officer Richard Haggerty. “We are delighted to have helped make a huge difference in the lives of so many children and families who live in this region.”

From left, Diane Tarantelli, “Wish” parent guest speaker, and Hilary Ducker, Community Outreach Manager, Make-A-Wish Hudson Valley

The highlight of the program was a heart-tugging speech by Diane Tarantelli of Mahopac, the featured speaker at the event. Her son Stefano, now 11, received his wish at 5 ½ years old, when the family was able to enjoy a carefree vacation at Disney World in Orlando, FL. Stefano was born with microcephaly, a condition where a baby’s head is much smaller than expected. As a result, his brain was not able to fully develop and he remains non-verbal, non-ambulatory, and prone to seizures.

Upon returning from their trip, Tarantelli decided she had to give back to the organization and became a volunteer. She began speaking at various events and is now also one of their “wish granters.”

“They changed my life and it’s so rewarding to give the gift that someone gave to me,” she said. The hundreds of gala attendees gave Tarantelli an extended standing ovation upon her exit from the podium.

Since its inception in 1986, Make-A-Wish Hudson Valley has granted wishes to more than 2,400 children in the communities it serves. The wish experience is a combined community effort involving volunteers, staff, donors and medical professionals to make each wish come true.

The chapter is a proud participant of the Better Business Bureau Charity Seal Program, which indicates that the organization has met the 20 Standards for Charity Accountability. The chapter serves Delaware, Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester counties. The organization is currently working on 150 wishes with the average cost of a wish ranging from $7,500 to $10,000. For more information about the Hudson Valley Chapter visit www.hudson.wish.org.

Mary Prenon
HGAR, Director of Communications