Challenging triumph brings sick kids special wishes

TAMPA – Corporations and celebrities recently came together to take the ‘Challenge’ of the year at Kids Wish Network’s sold-out signature charity benefit Team Wish Challenge II held March 2 at USF’s Riverfront Park. It was a day full of personal triumphs and victories as celebrities, participating teams of corporate sponsors, local law enforcement and firefighters competed in an outdoor adventure course to raise money for sick children in need of special wishes coming true. Some of the major team sponsors included Verizon Wireless, Time Warner/Roadrunner Cable, Rooms to Go and Gateway.


Tampa Bay Buccaneer players Aaron Stecker and Todd Yoder, 620 WDAE Sports Animal on-air personality Darek Sharp, television and radio personality Jack Harris and Oldsmar Mayor Jerry Beverland joined other celebrities in this unique team building event. Buccaneer cheerleaders were also on hand to greet and sign autographs for fans.


Another special highlight included a wish that Rooms to Go sponsored for “Wish Child” Derek, a 13-year-old diagnosed with leukemia. Rooms to Go came to the rescue providing Derek with the bedroom set of his dreams. The wish meant so much to Derek, because the new bedroom provides him with his very own refuge to recuperate after receiving chemotherapy treatments. “The more caring sponsors Kids Wish Network recruits, the more wishes we can fulfill,” said Wish Department manager Madeline Robinson of Kids Wish Network.


Kids Wish Network would like to thank all of its gracious sponsors, with extra special gratitude to Team Experience for hosting the event, Kojak’s House of Ribs for supplying the barbeque for the awards banquet and Boston Market for providing lunch for all of the event’s participating sponsors. “Our newest venture is corporate catering and we were proud to be a part of the caliber of corporations that were a part of the event,” said Mike Solomon, Director of Sales and Catering for Boston Market. “It was wonderful to see all of the fun that everyone was having. It was a day away from normal life where people could just relax.”


While everyone was a winner and received a medal for helping to make more dreams come true, the top teams to receive trophies were Time Warner Telecom and the shared efforts of Oztek Internet Solutions and Selective HR tying in first place, the duo team of Gateway and the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department placing second with Kids Wish Network’s Dream Team and Verizon Wireless tying in third. “We were thrilled at the turnout of the event,” said Shelley Breiner, Kids Wish Network’s Executive Director. “Each year it grows bigger as more people find out about this fun experience. We were truly honored and touched to have so many wonderful teams and sponsors become a part of our special fundraiser.”


The event benefited Kids Wish Network’s Guardian Angel fund, where 100% of the net proceeds go directly toward making even more dreams come true for children with life threatening illnesses.


Kids Wish Network is a nationally recognized non-profit organization whose mission is to grant wishes to children who have life-threatening illnesses. If you know a child between the ages of 3 and 18 who may be in need of their wish granting services, please call (813)891-9374 or toll free at (888)918-9004. You can also visit Kids Wish Network’s  website at

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48,632 kids helped this last fiscal year through our many programs and services.

Our Mission

Kids Wish Network is a charitable organization dedicated to infusing hope, creating happy memories, and improving the quality of life for children having experienced life-altering situations. Kids Wish Network assists children and their families through several key programs.