Make-A-Wish America recently awarded The Ritz-Carlton, Denver the "Most Innovative Wish" in 2016 because of the hotel’s creativity and partnership with Make-A-Wish Colorado. In the fall of 2016, the two organization worked together for Christopher, a child with a rare and aggressive brain tumor, to help make true his wish of becoming a vampire.
A committee created at the Ritz-Carlton worked together to transform the hotel into "Hotel Ritz-ylvania" that immersed Christopher into his favorite movie, Hotel Transylvania. Throughout the entire weekend, Christopher was called "Christovitch" and his entire room was decorated with bats and other eerie enchantments. During his stay, him and his family encountered staff members donning capes and fangs who also helped organize several visions of scenes from the movie. Some of these scenes included a fog-filled ballroom that held a monster dance party, as well as scare school—a class with actual bugs and insects that was taught by a vampire. The hotel even included its signature restaurant ELWAY'S in the wish. By enlisting the help of Denver's Inventing Room catering group, they designed eats such as potions to provide a creepy dinner, which took place after an outdoor campfire sing-along.
All of this attention to detail did not go unnoticed.
"Wishes really do matter, and we are lucky to have partners like the Ritz-Carlton, who understand and believe in the power of a wish come true” says Joan Mazak, founder and CEO, Make-A-Wish Colorado. “Each staff member at The Ritz-Carlton contributes wholeheartedly to ensure that every detail is executed perfectly. Not only do they help us create an incredible experience, but they help bring the wish to life resulting in lasting memories for the wish child and their whole family."
A few months after Christopher's wish was granted, Make-A-Wish Colorado held their annual fundraiser, The Sporting Affair, at Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum. It was during this fundraiser that the Ritz-Carlton received the news that they and Make-A-Wish Colorado were the recipients of the nationwide "Most Innovative Wish" award.
"We are so proud of the partnership we've built over the years with Make-A-Wish Colorado and are humbled to have made a lasting impact not only for this young boy's family and friends but for our Ladies & Gentlemen at The Ritz-Carlton, Denver," says Grant Dipman, general manager.
Make-A-Wish Colorado raised $260,000 at their annual fundraiser event to continue granting wishes to the children with life-threatening medical conditions that live in Colorado.