n early March, Spahn & Rose sponsored the 17th Annual Make-A-Wish Iowa Dubuque Gala, which raised enough money to fund wishes for seven children facing critical illnesses.

In addition to being a “Joy”-level sponsor, Spahn & Rose was well-represented by employees at the event, which included live music, food and an auction, with bids going to the nonprofit organization.

“That was the first Make-A-Wish gala I’d ever been to, and now it’ll be a yearly event for us,” says Josh Mozena, Assistant General Manager of the Dubuque Spahn & Rose location. “It was amazing to see all those people and all the donations and bids during the auction.”

More than 600 people attended the March 7 event, held in Grand River Conference Center and hosted by former KWWL television anchor Amanda Goodman, who is now executive director of the Family & Children’s Council in Waterloo, Iowa.

This past year, Make-A-Wish Iowa was able to grant wishes to 181 children battling critical illnesses—about one wish every other day.

make a wish gala crowd shotDuring the event, Make-A-Wish Iowa announced the granting of its 4,000th wish overall. The recipient, a 15-year-old named Michael from Oelwein, Iowa, had been battling a rare, life-threatening disease. Because of his passion for show cattle, he wished to acquire a livestock trailer to expand the cattle business he created with his brother. With help from Featherlite Trailers, Smith Home Gallery & Cabinet Works and many other Dubuque-area donors, Michael’s wish came true. During the gala, Michael was presented with the new trailer, after which attendees could meet him next to it.

“We cannot do what we do, at the caliber we do it, without the help of donors like Spahn & Rose,” says Lexi Konig, the organization’s marketing-and-communication manager.

At the auction, Mozena’s wife, Sarah, bid on and won a basketball signed by Frank McCaffery, head coach of the men’s hoops team at the University of Iowa. Her bid-donation contributed to the evening’s ongoing tally, the running amount displayed in a huge, illuminated star.

“It was amazing to see that star fill up as money was raised for the organization,” Mozena says. “It’s rewarding to work for Spahn & Rose and see how it supports organizations like Make-A-Wish that make such a big difference. It really means a lot to support the community like this.”

At the Dubuque Spahn & Rose location, meanwhile, employees chipped in money to a donation jar to raise an additional $300 for Make-A-Wish.