Woman raises money for wishes

Published 10:03 pm Wednesday, November 30, 2016

North Suffolk resident Courtney Wallace hopes to give children in the area an opportunity she experienced more than 15 years ago.

As a child, Wallace was diagnosed with spina bifida. The Indiana Children’s Wish Fund, which is similar to Make-A-Wish, granted Wallace a wish when she was 16 years old.

“I’m trying to give back what I was given 20 years ago,” Wallace said. “It hits so close to home.”


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For her wish, Wallace, an avid hip-hop fan, had the opportunity to travel to California and to meet hip-hop artist and producer Dr. Dre.

“Everyone was so far above and beyond that it impacted my life in so many ways,” she said. “I couldn’t describe it.”

“It’s something I will live with forever.”

The experience impacted her so much, she decided she wanted to help provide the same opportunity for other children.

“This is where my passion is and my purpose,” Wallace said. “I want to help make memories they can hold onto forever.”

Recently, Wallace was part of a team of five honorees selected to raise money for Make-A-Wish. The women were selected for the committee based on their contributions to the organization and the community.

“It’s a huge honor for me,” Wallace said.

“She has been very dedicated to our mission,” said Sheri Lambert, president and chief executive officer of the Make-A-Wish Greater Virginia chapter.

The group was tasked with raising at least $45,000, with a minimum of $9,000 each, to sponsor five children in the Hampton Roads area.

The group of women makes up the W.I.S.H. (Women Inspiring Strength and Hope) Circle of Hampton Roads. The collective, working in part with Make-A-Wish, seeks to inspire women in the community to enrich the lives of local children.

To date, the women have raised more than $43,000. Wallace has garnered just about $12,000.

On Dec. 7, the Make-A-Wish Greater Virginia chapter will host its inaugural W.I.S.H. Circle luncheon to celebrate the honorees. The honoree with the most donations will be declared the W.I.S.H. Circle Fairy Godmother of the Year.

The Greater Virginia chapter granted more than 180 wishes last year and hopes to grant 188 by next August, Lambert said.

Lambert said the recipient families have been “very grateful.”

“It has really transformed their lives and given them a sense of normalcy,” she said.

Wallace, having volunteered for Make-A-Wish for more than 18 years, has granted more than 230 wishes in five states: Indiana, Florida, California, Texas and Virginia.

The donation deadline is Dec. 5. To make a donation, visit tinyurl.com/wallacewish.