The 5th Annual Wings For Wishes raised $250,000 to help sponsor wishes through Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida. Wings For Wishes, presented by AirSouth Mechanical, and co-hosted by Make-A-Wish Champions Gal Bensaadon and Brian Exelbert and Sports Grill South Miami, is a family-friendly event centered on Sports Grill’s famous Special Grilled chicken wings and raising money to sponsor wishes.
This year’s event drew more than 1,800 attendees and included 90 corporate sponsors. We sincerely thank all of our attendees, sponsors, volunteers, friends, and family who have helped make this amazing event possible.
Back by popular demand for 2019, was the friendly chicken-wing eating competition between local news stations including WSVN-TV, WPLG Local10, NBC 6 Miami, and CBS 4 Miami. Afterward, more than 66 teams, each comprised of four hungry competitors, battled for the fastest time to eat 50 wings in the Official Wing Eating Competition.
Wings For Wishes was developed in 2014 when local professionals and Make-A-Wish Champions Gal Bensaadon & Brian Exelbert were eating chicken wings during their usual Friday lunch. Their goal was to create a unique fundraising concept accessible to a broad audience. Along with the generous support of Sports Grill, the Wings for Wishes event was born. The amount raised from this year’s event was enough to grant the wishes of 50 children battling critical illnesses. To date, Wings For Wishes has raised over $585,000, all going directly to granting wishes.
“It’s incredible to think on what we’ve accomplished in just five years,” said Gal Bensaadon. “With this year’s success and the tremendous support from our sponsors, families, and friends we’ve raised enough money to grant 116 wishes. The families that we celebrate are the true heroes in this story. What they experience on a daily basis is difficult to fathom. If we can hit the pause button on that and bring joy into their lives, then we’ve achieved something pretty awesome.”
“What started as a simple idea to do something fun and different to raise money for a charity, has developed into granting hundreds of wishes and touching thousands of lives,” said Brian Exelbert. “We created a special moment in time when companies, executives, politicians, community leaders, and passionate volunteers come together for one common goal, to create and grant wishes.”
The event also featured the new Signature Wing Tasting that offered unique chicken wing recipes from Sports Grill, Chiffa, House of Mac, Town Kitchen & Bar, Tap 42, Miccosukee Restaurant, and McCormick’s. A Miami favorite, Lokal, was also on hand to serve their famous chili. In all, over 14,500 wings were consumed. The crowd also enjoyed delectable desserts, cold libations, live music from the School of Rock, raffles, and family-friendly activities in the Kid’s Zone.
“Raising money for an amazing cause is always rewarding, but doing it in an unique way by bringing local businesses, politicians and law enforcement together is rewarding and enduring.”
Brian Exelbert, Co-Founder of Wings For Wishes.
Help Grant Wishes
Wings For Wishes has raised more than $333,000 with 100% of the proceeds benefitting Make-A-Wish Southern Florida.
Over 60 corporate and in-kind sponsors, over 75 Wing Competition teams and over 500 attendees from South Florida embrace Wings For Wishes.
Fun For The Whole Family
Wings For Wishes is the perfect outing for families with bounce houses, slides, kids games, face painters, and more!
Wine, Beer & Cocktails
Looking to pair your wings with the perfect craft brew, wine or cocktail? Wings For Wishes features a variety of libations for even the most discerning drinkers.
Delicious Wings & Food
Wings for Wishes offers unique tasting stations, allowing patrons to pair their food with a variety of different craft beers, wine or cocktails.
Dance the day away with live band and DJ! The 5th Annual Wings For Wishes will feature live local musical acts and a DJ!
Event Photo Gallery