My Platform

"The Make-A-Wish Foundation:
Kids for Wish Kids"

The Make-A-Wish Foundation helps raise money to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. I have selected the Make-A-Wish Foundation as my platform for the Miss Staten Island Scholarship Pageant because it is very close to my heart. My best friend Dominic LaForgia was diagnosed with leukemia seven years ago. Make-A-Wish granted his wish to have a clubhouse built in his backyard. Seeing the work that this foundation does for families in need is truly inspiring. After battling leukemia, Dominic passed away at age 15.  Promoting the Make-A-Wish Foundation allows me to have an impact on these young children in the same inspirational way that Dominic had an impact on me.

In the past year, I have worked to not only raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, but also to encourage others, especially children, to get involved in their community. In 2010, I collected nearly 200 letters to deliver to Macy’s for the “Million Reasons to Believe” promotion. Macy’s donated money to the foundation for each letter written to Santa. This year, as Miss Staten Island 2012, I had the opportunity to reach out to even more people. By visiting elementary schools and working with the children to write letters to Santa, I was able to collect 1,431 letters! This amounts to $1,431 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Overall, Macy's donated a grand total of $1.4 million to the foundation.

My dance showcase, "We Dance For Dreams" was held on March 10th 2012. At Snug Harbor’s Music Hall, dance studios from across Staten Island, as well as other performers, joined together for a night of camaraderie and philanthropy. We raised $8,700 with this event. I couldn't be more proud!

The Make-A-Wish Foundation promotes a program for children entitled, "Kids For Wish Kids." The goal is to encourage kids to produce, organize, and "run" their own fundraisers, under the supervision of an adult, for the foundation. As part of my platform, I introduced this program to schools across the island with a fundraiser called "Wish For Change." Each class was given a "change jar" in which to collect coins and dollars. I asked, though, that they raise the money themselves, through volunteering to do chores, selling baked goods, etc. The winning class from each school received a pizza party with me! PS 39, PS 50, & PS 55 collectively raised over $5,700 for the foundation. I am now working with the UAU summer camps on the same project.

The Metro New York chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation has granted over 8,500 wishes since it’s founding. With the average cost of a wish set at $7,500, the foundation needs all the financial support it can get. With these donations, Make-A-Wish can continue to make the lives of these children a little brighter.

To visit the official Make-A-Wish Foundation website, click on the badge below & consider becoming an annual sponsor!
Make-A-Wish Foundation

Although my platform deals with getting the community involved in helping others through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, I am more specifically focused on encouraging children to volunteer the time in general.  If we can inspire children to volunteer in their communities (through fundraisers and beautification projects) at a young age, they are more likely to continue their efforts through adulthood. New York is ranked last of the 50 states and Washington, D.C. with only a 20% volunteer rate. I truly believe that if we begin to teach the younger generations the importance of philanthropy, we can produce productive, focused young adults.

During my reign as Miss Staten Island, I will work hard to promote my platform, encourage children to reach their full potential, and raise funds for the Make-A-Wish Foundation!