The Southern Illinois Chicken & Beer Dance was started by the Zobrist family who wanted to give back to Make-A-Wish® after a family member was granted a wish. The family experienced first-hand the positive impact a wish can have on a wish child and their family, so they wanted to help Make-A-Wish® Illinois grant wishes to other children who are battling life-threatening medical conditions.
In 2003, the wish family, along with a group of volunteers, came together to form the Southern Illinois Chicken & Beer Dance Committee, and held the first Southern Illinois Chicken & Beer Dance fundraising event. The event was a success, so the committee decided to make it an annual event.
For the past 15 years the community has embraced the event and has generously supported it, which has largely contributed to the success of the event. The committee is proud to say that through the joint efforts of the event’s committee members, along with the continued loyal support of our donors, sponsors, community and volunteers, the event has continued to grow each year and has raised enough money to help support over 26 wishes.
Our goal for the 16th Annual Southern Illinois Chicken & Beer Dance is to raise enough money to help Make-A-Wish® Illinois support three magical wishes from the net proceeds of the event.
Make-A-Wish® Illinois was founded in 1985 by a group of local volunteers. The chapter serves children in all counties of Illinois. The Illinois Chapter has turned dreams into reality for more than 14,000 children and continues its mission to Share the Power of a Wish® with courageous children across the state.
In fiscal year 2017, the Illinois Chapter fulfilled 716 magical wishes, and in fiscal year 2018, the chapter’s goal is to grant nearly 725 wishes.
Every year, nearly 1,200 children in Illinois are newly diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition. Make-A-Wish® believes that wishes are an important part of the overall care and treatment of these children. Each wish offers the opportunity for a joyous, life-changing experience.
Making a difference
Make-A-Wish® is only able to create life-changing wish experiences with help from dedicated staff, volunteers, donors and other supporters.
With your support of the Southern Illinois Chicken and Beer Dance we will be able to help make wishes come true!
Impact of a wish
A wish come true helps children feel stronger, more energetic, more willing and able to battle their life-threatening medical conditions. For many, the wish marks the turning point in the fight against their illnesses. Doctors, nurses and other health professionals say the wish experience works in concert with medicine to make their patients feel better emotionally and even physically.
How Wishes are granted
There are four steps to granting a wish. Each step builds on the next to create amazing experiences that delight wish kids and their families. A wish experience is frequently a source of inspiration for children undergoing difficult medical treatments.
Step 1: Referral
Make-A-Wish® relies on medical professionals, parents and children themselves for referrals. Children who have reached the age of 2½ and are under the age of 18 at the time of referral, and have not received a wish from another wish-granting organization, may be eligible for a wish.
Step 2: Medical Eligibility
A child’s medical eligibility is determined with the help of the treating physician. To receive a wish, the child must be diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition (i.e., a progressive, degenerative or malignant condition that has placed the child’s life in jeopardy).
Step 3: The Wish
An enthusiastic wish teams is sent to learn the child’s one true wish. These committed volunteers connect with wish children, awaken their imaginations and help them envision an experience with the power to change lives.
Step 4: Creating Joy
Wish granters create an unforgettable experience driven by the child’s creativity. They strive to personalize each wish and to make it match the wish kid’s idea of a perfect day.