In the past 30 years, Associated Builders and Contractors’ (ABC) Greater Michigan Chapter has contributed more than $500,000 to help the Make-A-Wish Foundation put smiles on the faces of 90 children. In May, the chapter celebrated its 30th annual fundraiser in an exceptionally emotional, rewarding way—by personally granting a wish for a young man at the event.

 “The Make-A-Wish Foundation is critically important to ABC Greater Michigan because it has nothing to do with what we do and everything to do with who we are: fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, community leaders and giving people,” says ABC Greater Michigan Chapter President Jimmy Greene.

Nearly two years prior to this year’s event, ABC Greater Michigan was contacted about granting a wish to build a treehouse, but the plan had to be put on hold because of unforeseen issues. Cody, a 15-year-old teenager suffering from leukemia, wanted a place to get away that he could call his own. This year, the ABC members who so eagerly volunteered labor and supplies when they first heard about the project delivered him his wish.  

Cody’s family came to the event while Erick Forshee of Fisher Companies, Midland, Mich., led a group of volunteers at the family’s house to build and install the treehouse. During the event, Cody was presented with the “key” to his castle, and a picture of the treehouse was revealed. “Although Cody was pretty quiet, his face showed it all,” says Rebecca Kaiser, ABC Greater Michigan director of marketing and communications. “It was a heartwarming experience for everyone who attended.” The fundraiser hosted a record-setting 400 guests, who enjoyed dinner, dancing, a photo booth, a live auction and a raffle. In addition, stories of past Make-A-Wish families were shared.

By the end of the night, the Greater Michigan Chapter raised $30,000 benefiting Make-A-Wish Foundation of Michigan—the most it has ever raised in one event. Funds were used to sponsor wishes of three children in the Great Lakes Bay Region who are bravely tackling health challenges. 

“Our entire staff donates time to plan and host the event at no expense to Make-A-Wish, ensuring that all monies raised are for the kids,” Greene says. It’s a chance to deposit back into a community that we withdraw from. While building is important, people, and kids in particular, are much more so.”  


Donna Puglisi is public relations manager of Associated Builders and Contractors. For more information, visit www.abc.org.