By AMANDA ARNOLD
Like a lot of little kids, Louisville resident Chase Moore had big birthday parties and received more presents than he could ever play with.
But, before his fourth birthday, his parents had the idea of holding a fundraiser.
“I was getting a lot of presents, so my mom said I had to have smaller parties, or blow it out of proportion for a good cause,” Moore said.
For his fourth birthday, Moore collected cans for Harvest for Humana, and when he turned 6 he learned about the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Moore is now 16 years old and he has been holding an annual birthday party fundraiser for the Make-A-Wish Foundation every year. So far, his parties have raised almost $20,000.
However, just like for any kid giving up birthday presents wasn’t easy.
“At first, I didn’t love the idea because I liked presents, but I really like having friends over,” Moore said during his 16th birthday party fundraiser last weekend. The party was held at KingFish Restaurant on Zorn Avenue.
Previously, Moore has held his birthday with 100 or so friends in his backyard, but this year he was encouraged to step it up a notch by holding it at KingFish, and with a live band.
“He asked our band to play at his house, but when I heard his story about giving up his birthday gifts, I thought his story should be shared,” said Sammy Kudmani.
Kudmani and his five-piece band played at the Moore’s birthday party fundraiser that for the first time was open to the public. Moore’s friends also came to the party, just as they do every year.
“I think this is a great idea. It’s for a good cause, and Chase is doing a great thing that is inspiring others,” said friend Jackson Benitez.
“It’s really inspiring for Chase to do this, and it has inspired me to do something like this someday too,” said friend Fatah Alrayyashi.
Moore’s family is very proud of their son for continuing with the fundraiser birthday parties.
“It’s wonderful, and if it rubs off on others, then that’s wonderful, too,” said Brian Moore, Chase’s dad.
This year, Moore’s goal was to raise $6,000, which is just enough to grant a wish. Amy Blevins, of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, explained that $6,000 is the level of sponsorship to grant wishes such as trip to Walt Disney World or even a trip to the Olympics, such as a recent wish recipient received.
“Some wish to go to Disney World, rodeos, room makeovers or meet celebrities. It’s whatever they want to do and it’s limited to their imagination. We may not be able to grant every wish, but we can try,” said Blevins.
She added that the Make-A-Wish Foundation pairs the families with the sponsors.
Kinsey Morrison was at the party and shared her fond memories with the Make-A-Wish Foundation when she lived in Milwaukee.
“I am a 10-year cancer survivor, and when I was 6 I went to Disney World with the Make-A-Wish Foundation. I think this is a wonderful event, so I wanted to support Chase,” said Morrison, who is now friends with Moore.
This year, Moore has raised almost $4,600. That includes the $500 donation made by KingFish based on 20 percent of food sales from the party-goers. People are still welcome to donate to the foundation so Moore can make his goal of $6,000. Donations can be made online at http://friends.wish.org/011-000/page/Chase-Moore/Chase%2527s-16-Birthday-Fundraiser.htm.
“His goal of $6,000 is very achievable,” said Blevins.