Longtime Make-A-Wish Southern Nevada volunteer Betty Evans was one of two finalists for the lifetime achievement volunteerism award at this year’s virtual Governor’s Points of Light Awards on Oct. 23.
Evans, a nearly 20-year fixture of the organization, has been a volunteer wish granter since 2002, personally helping to bring to fruition 55 wishes for Southern Nevada children diagnosed with critical illnesses.
In addition to wish granting, Evans represents the nonprofit at multiple community events, serves as a speaking ambassador, fundraises and personally donates to the organization at a major gift level.
According to Caroline Ciocca, CEO of Make-A-Wish Southern Nevada, Evans goes above and beyond to ensure every wish is extra special. “Betty is literally a jack of all trades with amazing sewing skills, to boot,” said Ciocca. “She has been known to make matching shirts for entire wish families before they depart on travel wishes; she has made comfort quilts, pajamas and even princess fairy dresses for wish kids. She approaches every wish with unbridled energy, passion and vigor, adding personal creative touches that put that extra touch of magic on every wish she grants.”
Make-A-Wish staff, board members, and volunteers honored Evans with a surprise viewing party to celebrate her achievement at The Wishing Place, the organization’s Southern Nevada headquarters.
Evans, 77, walked the “blue carpet” and then watched the awards ceremony during a small, socially-distanced celebration on the Allegiant campus. Make-A-Wish also surprised Evans with a video compilation of messages of gratitude from staff, volunteers, family members, and many of the wish kids impacted by her service.
“Those who know me, know that volunteering is as essential to me as breathing,” said Evans. “To be recognized for something I love to do is an inspiration for me to continue my work. Wishes make kids feel better, and if they feel better, we all feel better. To boost the spirits of a child struggling with a critical illness is pure joy, and it keeps me going every day.”
The Governor’s Points of Light Awards are held annually to recognize outstanding volunteerism in Nevada. Consisting of seven categories and considered the highest honor bestowed on a volunteer in Nevada, the Awards are hosted by Nevada Volunteers and the Governor’s Commission on Service, a nonprofit organization that promotes, inspires and celebrates volunteerism statewide.
Nevada Volunteers also provides Americorps state grants to strengthen Nevada’s volunteer infrastructure.
For more information about Make-A-Wish Southern Nevada and the 40th anniversary, visit snv.wish.org.