Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central and Northern Florida, Inc.
3430 Magic Oak Lane
Sarasota FL 34232
We grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength, and joy. 

CEO/Executive Director Kathryn Vroman
Board Chair Mrs. Cheryl Burstein
Board Chair Affiliation Community Volunteer
General Info
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Incorporation Year 1994
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes Feb 2018
State Registration No 0
Financial Summary
IRS Letter of Determination
IRS LetterView
Impact Statement
Wishes are more than just a nice thing. A wish experience can be a game-changer for a child with a life-threatening medical condition. This one belief guides us in everything we do at Make-A-Wish®. It inspires us to grant wishes that change the lives of the kids we serve. It compels us to be creative in exceeding the expectations of every wish kid. It drives us to make our donated resources go as far as possible.
The Make-A-Wish Central and Northern Florida, Sarasota Region grants wishes of children between the ages 2 1/2 and 18 years old in the Charlotte, Desoto, Hardee, Manatee and Sarasota counties. Our goal is to grant every eligible child's wish. In 2012 our chapter granted 275 wishes and granted 15 wishes in the Sarasota region. We hope to continue outreach efforts to increase wish referrals and awareness so that more wish kids, donors, families, volunteers, and friends can share the power of a wish.
Needs Statement
1. We have an on-going need for funding to grant wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions in the Sarasota Region. The average cost of a wish is approximately $8,000.

2. We need frequent flier miles or loyalty points which help to keep travel costs and wish expenses down.
3. We need referrals from medical professionals, patients, and parents so that we can reach every child with a life-threatening illness in Charlotte, Desoto, Hardee, Manatee and Sarasota counties
4. We need sponsors to assist in funding and supporting our efforts to grant the wish of every eligible child. 
5. We need volunteers to become wish granters to assist us with granting the wishes of children in our region.
Background Statement

During a long nighttime stakeout kneeling in some desert weeds in the spring of 1980, U.S. Customs Agent Tommy Austin tells Arizona Department of Public Safety Officer Ron Cox his problem.

His wife’s friend Linda has a small son named Chris Greicius who is probably going to die of leukemia.   The seven-year-old boy yearns to be a police officer “to catch bad guys” with Austin.  Running into bureaucratic hesitation at Customs, Austin asks Cox if maybe DPS can do something.  “I’ll rent a helicopter myself if I have to,” Austin says.

Cox takes the request to DPS spokesman Allan Schmidt, who asks DPS Director Ralph Milstead.  He gives Schmidt carte blanche to grant Chris’ wish.  Soon Austin receives a call from Chris’ mom saying that she doesn’t think he can hang on much longer.

“None of us had any idea what we were getting into at the time,” Schmidt will recall 30 years later.  He draws other people in: Officer Jim Eaves will bring his patrol car, and Officer Frank Shankwitz his motorcycle, to meet the DPS helicopter flying Chris to headquarters.  On April 29, Chris comes from Scottsdale Memorial Hospital to the empty lot by DPS at Lewis and 19th Avenue.  There he and his parents are given a tour.  That’s when Lt. Col. Dick Schaefer gives the boy a “Smokey Bear” hat and one of his own old badges, and Chris becomes Arizona’s first and only honorary DPS officer.

Two of them, Cox and Eaves, go to John’s Uniforms, the business that makes all DPS uniforms, and order one Chris’ size.  Employees work all night to have it ready the next day.  A group of officers take the uniform to his house, where Shankwitz sets up cones for Chris to steer his battery-powered motorcycle through to qualify for a motorcycle officer’s wings.

But when they return the next day to present the wings to Chris, he’s gone back into the hospital.  With his DPS gifts all around him, clutching his new wings, Chris gives a last smile for the men who have done so much for him in such a short time. He passes May 2.

He was only seven years, 269 days old when he died. But he taught me about being a man. Even though he was only a boy. I can tell you that because of meeting Chris, I am an entirely different man. Ron Cox said the same thing. He said he didn’t fear death anymore, because he knew Chris would be there waiting for him.”

— Tommy Austin, Make-A-Wish® co-founder and retired U.S. Customs agent

Areas Served
Areas Served
In a specific U.S. city, cities, state(s) and/or region.
FL- Charlotte
FL- DeSoto
FL- Hardee
FL- Manatee
FL- Sarasota
Areas Served Comments Charlotte, Desoto, Hardee, Manatee and Sarasota, Florida
Service Categories
Primary Org Type Human Services
Secondary Org Type Diseases Disorders & Medical Disciplines
Tertiary Org Type Philanthropy,Voluntarism & Grantmaking Foundations
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President
Make-A-Wish® of Central and Northern Florida, Sarasota Region has one program – we grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions between the ages 2 ½ and 18 in the 5 counties we serve. Children are energized by these wishes. They can anticipate, describe, imagine, plan, and eventually rejoice in its fruition. By demonstrating that a wish can come true, Make-A-Wish® of Central and Northern Florida encourages a child to envision a positive future and to remain an active partner in treatment when courage and hope begin to fade.
Budget $512,926
Category Human Services, General/Other Children & Youth Services
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) People/Families of People with Cancer People/Families of People with Health Conditions
Short Term Success

 "According to the results of a 2011 Wish Impact Study that surveyed wish parents, health professionals, and volunteers, a wish come true empowers children with life-threatening medical conditions to fight harder against their illnesses. Health professionals treating them say the wish experience is an important adjunct to medical treatment, and they observe their patients feel better and comply more readily with treatment protocols when they experience their wish come true. And the community volunteers who grant wishes say the wish granting process heightens both their ability to see the best in others, and their commitment to actively help more people in need." Make-A-Wish America

"A combined 89% of doctors, nurses and health professionals surveyed say they believe a wish experience can influence wish kids' physical health."
“Wish Impact Study Results – Second Phase: Jan. – Aug. 2011” (consolidated results), Nov. 2, 2011.
Long Term Success Make-A-Wish® was founded in 1980 after a little boy named Chris Greicius realized his heartfelt wish to become a police officer. Since its humble beginnings, the organization has blossomed into a worldwide phenomenon, reaching children worldwide. Now, in 2014, more than 226,000 children in the United States have benefited from the hope, strength and joy of experiencing their one heartfelt wish. And while it’s not the beginning, it’s nowhere near the end.
"It's been more than 30 years since my son Chris received his wish, and I am still amazed and inspired how one little boy's dream to be a policeman has touched the lives of so many thousands of people.”

— Linda Pauling, mother of Chris, the boy whose wish inspired the founding of Make-A-Wish

Program Success Monitoring

Every wish experience is driven by the wish kid’s interests, creativity and personality. Once the wishes are completed the volunteer wish granters submit all Foundation paperwork which includes a wish family questionnaire. By reviewing the questionnaire we ensure a quality experience for the wish child and family. Often the experience of participating in a wish carries over long after the wish is over, positively affecting a child’s health. Traditionally, more than 80% of the children whose wishes have been fulfilled since the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central and Northern Florida began in 1994 are still alive. And the staff and volunteers of the chapter feel that they have played a very big part in this statistic.

Program Success Examples

99% of parents reported that the wish experience gave their children increased feelings of happiness and 96% said that the wish experience strengthened their families." Make-A-Wish America

Caitlin, 17 - I wish to have a dance partner

At age 4 Caitlin started dancing but had to put it on hold after being diagnosed with cancer. At age 17 her wish was granted, Caitlin spent the day dancing at the Jeffrey Ballet School with their students and instructor. “The Make-A-Wish Foundation has helped our family to heal and is responsible for the giant smile that’s on my daughters face and the courage for her to continue on.” - Caitlins Mom
Kalie, 13 - I wish to be a supermodel  
Kalie who is dealing with a life-threatening blood disorder had her wish granted to be a supermodel when she got to walk the Las Vegas Fashion Show mall’s runway! 

"She has a better outlook on life and a better outlook on the future.”— Dr. Jonathan Bernstein, Kalie's pediatric oncologist

CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director Kathryn Vroman
CEO Term Start July 2005
CEO/Executive Director Email
Former CEOs/Executive Directors
Senior Staff
Leesa Avila CFO
Rebecca Blitz Regional Director
Staff & Volunteer Statistics
Full Time Staff 2
Part Time Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % 100
Professional Development Yes
Contractors 0
Volunteers 90
Management Reports to Board Yes
CEO/Executive Director Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes
External Assessments and Accreditations
Risk Management Provisions
Fundraising Plan No
Communication Plan No
Strategic Plan No
Strategic Plan Years 3
Strategic Plan Adopted June 2009
Management Succession Plan No
Continuity of Operations Plan No
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
Policies and Procedures Yes
Management Comments by Organization    
Other Documents
Other Document 2
Document Destruction Policy
Board Chair
Board Chair Mrs. Cheryl Burstein
Company Affiliation Community Volunteer
Board Term Sept 2016 to Sept 2017
Board Chair Email
Board Members
Board Members
Mrs. Cheryl Burstein Community Volunteer
Mrs. Saralyn Dorrill Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP
Mrs. Sherra Fritz WWSB ABC 7
Mrs. Terri Klauber Michaels On East
Mr. Philip Mancini Michaels On East-Proprietor
Mr. Luke Nicholas Alegiant P.A.
Mrs. Barbie Nilsen Nilsen Interior Design
Mrs. Lisa Olan Philanthropist
Ms. Renee Phinney Spotlight Graphics
Mrs. Elena Reuter Dr. Todd Reuter
Mr. Rob Wagner Brown and Brown Insurance Executive VP
Constituency Includes Client Representation No
Board Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 11
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Gender
Male 3
Female 8
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 1
Board Term Limits 12
Board Orientation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 12
Board Meeting Attendance % 76
Board Self-Evaluation Yes
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Board Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
% of Board Making Monetary Contributions 100
% of Board Making In-Kind Contributions 100
Standing Committees
Advisory Board / Advisory Council
Special Events (Golf Tournament, Walk / Run, Silent Auction, Dinner / Gala)
Fiscal Year Projections
Fiscal Year Start Month Sept
Fiscal Year Start Day 01
Fiscal Year Begins 2016
Fiscal Year End Month Aug
Fiscal Year End Day 31
Fiscal Year Ends 2017
Projected Revenue $5,782,450.00
Projected Expenses $5,716,596.00
Organization has Endowment No
Capital Campaign
Currently In a Capital Campaign No
Campaign Purpose
Campaign Goal
Campaign Dates 0 to 0
Amount Raised To Date 0 as of 0
IRS Form 990s
Form 9902014
990 2012-20132013
Form 9902008
Audit/Financial Documents
2012 Audit2012
Historical Financial Review
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201620152014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$0$0$0
Individual Contributions$3,937,469$2,809,090$2,702,419
Investment Income, Net of Losses$101,585$2,824$4,015
Membership Dues$0$0$0
Special Events$2,187,066$1,675,904$1,271,108
Revenue In-Kind$0$1,266,369$1,020,628
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$4,692,909$3,388,206$2,463,934
Administration Expense$524,886$545,363$446,534
Fundraising Expense$925,906$706,015$674,479
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.041.011.14
Program Expense/Total Expenses76%73%69%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue15%16%17%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$5,114,854$4,220,730$3,780,634
Current Assets$4,354,910$3,493,721$2,837,405
Long-Term Liabilities$20,422$19,176$0
Current Liabilities$2,354,411$1,694,117$1,291,049
Total Net Assets$2,740,021$2,507,437$2,489,585
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, gifts, grants $3,937,469Contributions, gifts, grants $2,807,090Contributions, gifts, grants $2,702,419
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountFundraising $2,187,066Fundraising $1,675,904Fundraising $1,271,107
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountOther $150,165Wish Assist Fees $138,000Wish Assist Fees $93,750
CEO/Executive Director Compensation
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities1.852.062.20
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Financials Comments
Financial Comments by Foundation Financial information taken from IRS Form 990 and audit documents.  Individual contributions include foundation and corporate support.  Federal tax returns and audited financial statements reconcile. Financial information for 2016 was taken solely from their audited financial statements as their Federal 990 was not available at time of review.
Nonprofit Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central and Northern Florida, Inc.
Address 3430 Magic Oak Lane
Sarasota, FL 34232
Phone 941 378-9474