As it did for so many organizations and companies, this past year presented a number of challenges for Make-A-Wish Iowa, a nonprofit organization that Spahn & Rose has strongly supported for years. But with some creativity and persistence, the group continued granting wishes to children even during the pandemic.
For example, Make-A-Wish Iowa granted 3-year-old Alexander his wish to sit in a real bulldozer. Cancer-free after a year of treatments, Alexander, who loves dump trucks and construction vehicles, was taken to a construction site to be able see the world from the high perch of a bulldozer seat. Make-A-Wish also gave Alexander a miniature dump truck and Gator.
Another pandemic challenge for Make-A-Wish this past year was raising money. Again, ingenuity and creativity led the organization to create 2021 Dubuque Gala: A Celebration of Wishes, a virtual event held this March. An online version of the gala the company has hosted for 18 years, the festivities included a video highlighting stories about wishes the organization has fulfilled for children with critical illnesses.
For the third year in a row, Spahn & Rose made a donation to be a Joy-level sponsor for the event.
“It’s truly personally rewarding to know that we gave these young children hope, something to look forward to,” says John Cook, General Manager of the Dubuque Spahn & Rose location. “It makes me very proud to know Spahn & Rose is part of that.”
In previous years, Spahn & Rose employees would represent the company in person at the Make-A-Wish gala, which included live music, food and an auction with bids benefiting the nonprofit. This year, Make-A-Wish hosted an online silent auction from February 22 to March 8; more than 190 items were up for bid in all, including a Mississippi houseboat tour, handcrafted furniture and a home-renovation package. Spahn & Rose donated a Milwaukee tool grinder kit.
Using funds raised at the gala and auction, Make-A-Wish Iowa helps grant life-changing wishes for ailing children. The organization seeks to make every eligible child’s wish come true—because, it notes, a wish is an integral part of every child’s treatment journey. Indeed, research shows that children who have wishes granted can more readily build the physical and emotional strength they need to battle their illness.
“The core values of Spahn & Rose are centered around families, and we help create a family atmosphere as a company,” Cook says. “That aligns with Make-A-Wish perfectly. It’s so gratifying to know a family has something to look forward to while dealing with a struggle.”