After 16 years of working with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Newport Beach nonprofit We Care For Kids, Inc. has raised almost $1 million and, at about $5,000 per wish, granted about 200 wishes to children and their families.
"What Make-A-Wish does for a family during the most excruciating time in their life, just giving that family happy memories, is incredible," said Barbara Boyle, whose brother, Richard McCloskey, founded We Care for Kids.
Each year, McCloskey's Newport Beach financial services company, Tax & Financial Group, hosts the annual We Care For Kids Benefit Golf Tournament and Auction, the nonprofit's biggest yearly fundraiser.
The event will take place May 16 at the Mesa Verde Country Club in Costa Mesa. Registration costs $500 and includes golf, tee prizes, breakfast, lunch and dinner for two.
Over the years, Boyle has seen a number of wishes granted.
But the ones that stand out most are involving the "little things in life that are just about being a normal family," she said.
Such as a young child who wanted to go on a family vacation on Disney Cruise Line. Or a young man with a debilitating condition who wanted the experience of having a job, so Make-A-Wish hired him as an event's keynote speaker.
"It really reminds you of the things we take for granted," said Dean Simon, owner of Bruxie Gourmet Waffle Sandwiches in Orange. He's a 10-year participant in the tournament.
"Aside from what a great thing that they're doing, it's a phenomenal tournament from a golfing perspective," Simon said.
Many of the players return year after year because the event is well organized, the location is ideal and it's for a good cause, he said.
Like many nonprofits, We Care for Kids felt the pinch from the economic downturn, but the golf tournaments continued every year, Boyle said.
"You find yourself fighting for the kids," Boyle said. "Everyone says it, and it's true — it's all about the kids."