Jewelers for Children, the jewelry industry’s charity, funded its 1,000th wish through the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America on April 12, during the American Gem Society Conclave in Seattle. Since 1999, JFC has funded the Wish A State program, which provides the support to grant a wish in every state annually.
The Wish A State program was developed in conjunction with Jewelers of America as a method for granting wishes in all 50 states. Local Make-A-Wish chapters and the JA affiliates work together to grant the heartfelt wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enhance the human experience with hope, strength and joy.
JFC’s 1,000th wish child, 13-year-old Vava Cole (pictured with AGS board member Cathy Calhoun), and her parents, Ki and Marty, attended the AGS President’s Gala at the Sheraton Seattle. Her wish is to visit Paris and see some of the sights depicted in the movie Ratatouille. Vava also dreams of being a photographer and hopes to have the chance to take pictures of some of Paris’ famous landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower and the Champs-Elysées.
Vava will also have an extra reason to celebrate her wish. Last year, she was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor. After surgery, chemotherapy and radiation treatments, doctors recently declared Vava cancer-free.
“It’s so gratifying to see our 1,000th wish granted and to know that the jewelry industry has made a difference in lives of so many children.” said Howard Sherwood, JFC chairman. “We also are looking forward to welcoming Vava to our annual Facets of Hope event where we will celebrate ten years of helping children in need.”
AGS, through the Annual Conclave, has supported JFC through silent and live auctions and raffles. To date, the AGS community has donated nearly $500,000 through Conclave.
“Supporting the important work of JFC at Conclave and throughout the year is important to the Society and our members,” said Ruth Batson, AGS executive director and chief operating officer. “Philanthropy and community are part of the American Gem Society’s DNA.”