"If you had one wish, what would it be?"

Those nine simple but powerful words have brought tears of joy to thousands of precious New Jersey children suffering from life threatening illnesses.

For more than 25 years, the Make-A-Wish Foundation of New Jersey (MAWFNJ) has made wishes come true for more than 6,300 children. From magical trips to Disney World, to a recording session with Bruce Springsteen, to one child`s request for her mom to have the day off from work, the wish boundaries are limited only by the children`s imaginations and the limited resources of the Foundation.

"Grant more wishes and grant better wishes!" That`s the vision of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of New Jersey. It is also the guiding purpose behind the first capital campaign in the organization`s history.

Following a comprehensive planning study conducted by Ghiorsi & Sorrenti, Inc, the MAWFNJ Board of Directors approved launching the organization`s first capital campaign to raise funds for multiple purposes including a new home for the Foundation - affectionately called a Wishing Place - expanded endowment, technology upgrades and enhanced volunteer training programs.

GSI was engaged to direct the MAWFNJ campaign, and an initial working target of $6 million was set. Thanks to an extraordinary seven-figure gift by the Plumeri family, the first ever 7-figure gift to any MAW chapter internationally, combined with an outright gift of land, the campaign well surpassed its goal and the 20,000 square-foot Samuel and Josephine Plumeri Wishing Place, where seriously-ill children can dream and hope and believe once again that wishes can come true, became a reality.

"No child should ever have to endure the struggle and pain that come with battling a life-threatening illness. Giving back to these children, what their illness has taken away - laughter, strength, hope and joy, is our sole purpose," Thomas P. Weatherall, President & CEO.


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Philip Salerno III

One of the highlights of Mr. Salerno`s more than 20 years at Children`s Specialized Hospital in Mountainside, New Jersey, is the $33 million "The Building Begins with Children" campaign he recently managed and completed in partnership with GSI. Currently, he is President and Chief Development Officer of the hospital`s Foundation.

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