On Tuesday, December 3, Tamara & Tony Casillas opened their home to kick-off the 6th Annual Ally’s Wish Boots & Blessings Gala with a night of sips, shopping and holiday cheer. The team from Vestals Catering passed a delicious menu of appetizers and guests grazed on a beautiful charcuterie table. The Casillas home was beautifully decorated with holiday lights, multiple Christmas trees and 25 family photos taken each year with Santa and their children; a family tradition started by Tamara & Tony when their son was born. Five years ago, four friends founded Ally’s Wish in honor of their dear friend, Allyson Hendrickson whose wish was the first to be granted prior to losing her battle with ovarian cancer in 2014. Hendrickson’s blog, 3 Little Cowboys began as a collection of letters and stories to her three young sons, but it quickly gained a national following spanning seven years. With her friends by her side, she unwrapped her published book, Three Little Cowboys. Today a portion of the sales from Hendrickson’s book benefits Ally’s Wish.
Since its inception, Ally’s Wish has granted over 150 wishes to young mothers who’ve battled inflammatory breast cancer, Leukemia, colon cancer and other terminal illnesses. Ally’s Wish currently has 120 moms waiting to have wishes granted with new requests arriving daily. The average cost to grant a wish is around $5K, and funds raised at the annual Boots & Blessings event are the main fundraiser for the organization. “We are so thankful for our friend Allyson, and though her time on earth was short, her legacy will last a lifetime,” said founder and president Missy Phipps. “We are incredibly appreciative for the outpouring of support we’ve received from the community, and we know our 2020 Boots & Blessings party will be unforgettable, just like Allyson.” The evening was filled with tributes to Hendrickson. The team from Kendra Scott brought their latest jewelry collection, including a special custom piece created by Founder Missy Phipps and Danielle Cornett in honor of Hendrickson. Guests were able to shop from the latest styles, just in time for the holidays, and a portion of sales benefitted Ally’s Wish. Hendrickson had loved candy sprinkles, so Sprinkles cupcakes donated branded cupcakes which were a hit, including their famous “SPRINKLES” cupcake which was front and center in remembrance.
Phipps recognized LeeAnne Locken-Emberlin and Rich Emberlin who will serve as Honorary Chairs for the 2020 party. Longtime supporters, LeeAnne served as the emcee for the 2nd annual gala and is thrilled to return in this official capacity. Phipps then announced Tony and Tamara Casillas as the 2020 Event Chairs. Tamara shared that in celebration of her 5 year anniversary of breast cancer she wanted to do something that honored this celebration of remission because she is one of the lucky ones but there are moms and their families who are not so lucky to be alive. By the end of her remarks, there was not a dry eye in the house! She thanked her friend, Danielle Cornett, for introducing her to the Ally’s Wish organization and for getting her involved. Tamara & Tony both support so many organizations but Ally’s Wish touched both of their hearts and they feel connected to the story and the mission. Tamara then shared the exciting details about the gala which will take place at Austin Ranch in Grapevine on April 18, 2020 with a silent & live auction, the Breckenridge Band, Scott Murray serving as emcee, a seated buffet dinner, dancing and more! She also thanked the numerous members of the Host Committee for their commitment and support and recognized confirmed sponsors including Shapes Fitness for Women (Presenting Sponsor); O’Rourke Sales (Auction Sponsor) and J Philips Mortgage (Photo Booth Sponsor). Sponsorships, tables and tickets are currently available and can be purchased online at www.allyswish.org. Wish requests and nominations are accepted year-round and while based in North Texas, Ally’s Wish grants wishes to mothers across the U.S. The stories of the women who have been granted wishes and have touched countless lives along the way are featured on the Ally’s Wish website. To learn more about Ally’s Wish, please visit www.allyswish.org.