BIG4 and Make-A-Wish Australia: A special partnership

“I wish to see a unicorn fly.” Scarlett, 6 years old, battling acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

As far as partnerships go, BIG4 Holiday Parks’ alliance with Make-A-Wish® Australia is among our proudest. Here, we explain why we value our strong association with this vital children’s charity.

“I wish to be the Australian Cricket Captain.” Archie, 7, battling congenital heart disease.

After a huge year of donations from BIG4 park owners and staff in 2017, the stage was set for another dose of generosity when we held our 2018 National Conference in Adelaide in late October.

The annual conference is concluded by a gala dinner where the mood is guaranteed to be upbeat.

BIG4 ambassador and film and TV celebrity, Shane Jacobson, is the evening’s MC, and right from the get-go he has his audience in stitches.

BIG4 ambassador, Shane Jacobson.

But when Vickie Lester from Make-A-Wish is invited to the stage to chat to the gathering of BIG4 park owners, staff, partners, and other guests, the mood changes.

Vickie is here to talk about BIG4’s partnership with Make-A-Wish – which is now into its third year – and thank the many park staff members who have donated funds, either personally or through hosting in-park charity events.

Vickie is also on stage to demonstrate the tangible impact of those donations and, as an aside, the profound importance that such an alliance can have.

Vickie Lester from Make-A-Wish.

The audience is shown a video following the journey of Scarlett, whose wish was to see a unicorn fly and taste its rainbow horn. Throughout the video, there’s utter silence aside.

The five-minute clip is incredibly uplifting, inspirational, and powerful. In fact, a quick scan of the room reveals most faces are devoid of dry eyes.

And when Scarlett and her mother are presented to the audience to hear more about the impact of such wishes, the emotions continue to pour out.

Scarlett wished to meet a unicorn.

To be clear, BIG4 is a coop with a majority of its parks individually owned and operated. Many are family businesses. They’re run by mums and dads, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles.

And this heart-warming presentation from Make-A-Wish has certainly struck a chord with them all.

At the end of the presentation, Shane Jacobson asks for park owners and staff and other guests to pledge further donations to Make-A-Wish. Hands rise over and again.

It all adds to a hefty total…

BIG4 events like Glow in the Park have been important fundraisers.

Since partnering with Make-A-Wish® Australia, BIG4 Holiday Parks has raised more than $200,000 to help grant the wishes of children and teens battling life-threatening illnesses.

It’s a figure we’re all proud of, but we won’t rest at that. We’re already looking at the next $200,000. And beyond.

Because every brave child deserves to meet a unicorn.

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