Super Bowl LVII represents a homecoming of sorts for the 17 children with critical illnesses whose wishes will be granted to go to the big game in Arizona where Make-A-Wish was founded in 1980 and continues to be headquartered.
Make-A-Wish – in partnership with the National Football League (NFL) and other corporate sponsors – has created an unforgettable itinerary for the wish kids and their families traveling to Phoenix from 15 different states.
The experience kicks-off on Wednesday, Feb. 8, at a welcome celebration where the wish kids will first meet and get to know one another. The following evening, the wish kids will brush shoulders with the NFL’s biggest stars on the red carpet at the NFL Honors event. On Friday, they will get a private, behind-the-scenes tour of State Farm Stadium and have free time to show off their football skills at the Super Bowl Experience. The excitement doesn’t stop there as the next day will include back-to-back, fun-filled parties at Dave & Buster’s, courtesy of the Arizona Cardinals, and Topgolf, a national sponsor of Make-A-Wish since 2016.
The experience will culminate in the wish kids stepping inside the stadium to watch as the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs go head-to-head in pursuit of the coveted Vince Lombardi Trophy on Sunday, Feb. 12.
“The Super Bowl is one of our biggest annual wish granting events, and it feels even bigger this year knowing that we get to host 17 wish families in our very own backyard where we’ve been headquartered since the very first wish,” said Leslie Motter, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish America. “Our hope is that the wish kids we welcome to Phoenix will be filled with joy and inspired by the entire experience, helping them build the strength and resilience needed to face their illness.”
Wishes involving the NFL started shortly after the founding of Make-A-Wish in 1980. The first wish that the NFL granted was for John Paul Serna, a 12-year-old Arizona boy who attended Super Bowl XVI in 1982. The wish was the 9th ever in Make-A-Wish history, and in the 41 years since, more than 300 wishes have been granted at the Super Bowl with hundreds more wishes having been granted through the 32 teams and their players.
To learn more and find out how you can get involved, visit wish.org.