Field of dreams to make wishes true

21:33, Feb 13 2013
SHINING HOPE: Make-A-Wish chief executive Carolyn MacDonell says a sunflower can be picked for a gold coin donation at its fundraiser festival.

A field of wishes waits to be granted for seriously ill children.

About 90,000 sunflowers growing on a Gulf Harbour hillside can be picked by visitors to the Field of Dreams Summer Festival from February 28 to March 24.

A gold coin donation for every flower goes to the children's charity Make-A-Wish Foundation.

The festival at Gulf Harbour Marina's Fairway Bay and Hobbs Wharf will raise funds so the foundation can grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.

It is one of the most ambitious fundraising programmes undertaken by the foundation, Make-A-Wish New Zealand chief executive Carolyn MacDonell says.

"It has the potential to raise more money, which will fulfil more wishes, than many other activities the organisation has undertaken," she says.


Visitors can dine at cafes, play in the water, shop at markets, picnic and enjoy open-air movies every evening from Thursday to Sunday, with family movies playing on Saturdays.

Mrs MacDonell says Make-A-Wish is thrilled with the support from organisations in the Auckland region.

"We're so excited to be able to use Fairway Bay for these activities.

"It's a beautiful setting right next to the water which also makes it a brilliant place to run these events."

Mrs MacDonell says wishes are essential for sick children.

The impact of a wish is not limited to the immediate emotional effects on recipients as it also impacts "thousands of people" who have been involved with Make-A-Wish, she says.

"Our mission is to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy, and this is accomplished through the granting of wishes, as a wish generates hope and a positive outlook for all."

Suburban Newspapers Auckland, publisher of the Western Leader, is supporting Make-A-Wish New Zealand.

ABOUT MAKE-A-WISH Make-A-Wish was formed in New Zealand in 1986 and has raised funds and granted wishes to 1300 sick children. The New Zealand organisation is an affiliate of Make-A-Wish International and its vision is to make every eligible child's wish come true. The organisation is volunteer-led, with more than 114 volunteers nationwide. It is funded by donations, grants, sponsors and fundraising events. Children's wishes fall into four categories – I wish to be, I wish to meet, I wish to have or I wish to go.

Western Leader