Michelangelo’s Pizzeria and Make-A-Wish Team up to Make Dreams Come True

In the last nine years, Michelangelo’s has donated over $100,000 for the Make-A-Wish foundation. (Clovis Roundup photo)

Just like a genie in a bottle Michelangelo’s Pizzeria and Make-A-Wish foundation help make not one, but two children’s wishes come true.

The locally owned restaurant had their annual charity golf tournament to raise money for the local chapter of the Make-A-Wish foundation. This is the ninth year the Rosales family has done their charity golf tournament.

This year they raised $25,411.84 which is the most they have ever raised to date. This year is also special as they have surpassed $100,000 since 2011 for the charity.

One day Diego Rosales, son of JR Rosales, owner of Michelangelo’s, decided to get some friends together to do a tournament just for fun. Once he and his friends started organizing it they realized they should do it for a cause.

They went through different organizations and ultimately decided on Make-A-Wish. “We landed on Make-A-Wish because of the fact that they work with kids.” Rosales said.

Michelangelo’s has been partnered with the Make-A-Wish foundation for nine years. Since then, their partnership with Make-A-Wish has flourished.

Not only that, their tournament has grown, this year around 160 people entered to play. During the tournament they have live auctions and prizes raffled off, all of the proceeds going towards the foundation.

This year the children whose wishes were granted are Sheamus and Rebekah.

Sheamus, a 6 year-old, who was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis at just 18 months, was granted his wish of going to LEGOLAND.

Rebekah, 18, who is battling cancer of the lymphatic system, was granted her wish to go to Hawaii.

Courtney Snapp, Sr. Development Manager for Make-A-Wish Northeastern & Central California and Northern Nevada Chapter, has been with the foundation for nine years.

As Sr. Development Manager part of her role is to work with local donors, like Michelangelo’s, that want to fundraise and help invest in a child’s life.

Snapp was inspired to join the Make-A-Wish team after her nephew was diagnosed with leukemia at 2 ½-years-old and was granted a wish.

She also holds the same anniversary as Michelangelos. “They were one of my first events so I’ve known them since day one of this golf tournament,” Snapp said.

Once the children are granted their wish, Make-A-Wish takes care of everything. “Our goal is to really help relieve the stress that these families have gone through, including the parent, including the siblings,” Snapp said.

A study from Dr. Anup Patel from Nationwide Children’s Hospital, says the wish process is not a nice thing to have but a need to have.

Physicians are finding out that wish kids are becoming more compliant with their medical journey and it helps strengthen their families.

“They have something else to think about, whether its pre, mid, or post wish. They have something else to think about that isn’t a negative thing,” Snapp said. “They think it’s amazing that strangers are helping their family.”

Organizations like Make-A-Wish and families like the Rosales both share a passion of wanting to make a difference in a child’s life. Working hard to do whatever they can to make a positive impact in the lives of these children and their families.

Haley Graduated from Fresno State in May 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts in Media Communications & Journalism. While her emphasis is Multimedia Haley took classes on reporting and media writing. She has a passion for her major and strives to be versatile as she can in her field. During her last semester at Fresno State she was an intern at CMAC. She gained hands on experience working on live productions for the community.