MIAMI (WSVN) - A South Florida charity broke new ground and finally set down roots where it has served the community for decades.
The Make-a-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida is set to have a home where its heart has always been.
Construction began for a new Wish House in Downtown Miami.
“I think it’s one of the top days in our entire 38-year history,” said Make-a-Wish Southern Florida CEO Norman Wedderburn.
The group is a step closer to having their very own building for the first time.
Here, children with life-threatening medical conditions can visit to make their wish.
“This is the idea, OK, we’re going to take our children who, before, would have the experience in their house or in a drab office, instead we’re going to take them to this high-tech building using VR and AR and other technologies, and we’re gonna transport them to another universe,” said Chairman of the Board of Emeritus Shareef Malnik, “a universe of hope, leaving behind their pain and misery, and it becomes the first day of the rest of their life.”
Imagine a universe where the walls are fun and interactive.
The entire experience will be designed by a Disney imagineer.
“I was 14 years old, so it was a couple of years after I was diagnosed, and my wish was to meet former President Bill Clinton in his New York office,” said former Wish Kid Devon Vickers, “so, yeah, it was fantastic.”
More than 15 years later, she not only remembers the impact of her wish, but she’s also one of the attorneys who worked on this project.
“It’s like a full-circle moment, and I’m just really glad,” Vickers said.
The new Finker-Frenkel Wish House will also have office space and somewhere to hold events.
The five-story, 30,000 square foot building will be located in the middle of downtown, off Interstate 95 and Northwest Sixth Street.
“Most importantly, we get to enhance the wishes of the children we serve in a way that is magnificent,” said Wedderburn.
The team hopes this image will serve as a sign of hope to so many children and their families.
Construction is set to begin by the end of the year, and the Wish House should be completed by fall of 2023.
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