Buccaneers team with Make-A-Wish® to grant Gustavo's dream

Jeff LaLiberte

MIAMI SHORES, Fla. – On Saturday, Feb. 22, Barry University was able to help grant the wish of a Miami-area child battling a life-threatening medical condition in a special Make-A-Wish® reveal event its homecoming basketball games. Barry’s efforts raising funds will send Gustavo, a local wish kid, on his wish to visit one of Silicon Valley’s leading technological companies.

Barry funded Gustavo’s wish, and announced that his wish would be granted before the men’s basketball game at Health & Sports Center on Homecoming Weekend. The NCAA selected Barry as one of five schools across the country to hold the Make-A-Wish reveal on site.

Gustavo and family spent the day on campus as a special guest attending Barry’s Homecoming festivities. He was also invited to sit in with the men’s basketball team in its pre-game scouting report and during a locker room pep talk before the Buccaneers took the floor. During the wish reveal, Bucs head coach Butch Estes presented Gustavo with a Barry jersey, which he later had signed by the players.

Barry received an award as one of the top three NCAA Division II schools in the nation for its fundraising efforts to support Make-A-Wish. Last year, the Buccaneers athletic department was able to raise more than $10,000 to help grant two local kids’ wishes. This year, the school has increased its goal to $15,000 to help fund three wishes. 

Barry generated over $5,587 through the weekend’s Homecoming games to support this year’s Make-A-Wish fundraising efforts. All of the gate and concession proceeds from this weekend’s athletic events were donated to Make-A-Wish. A silent auction, yard sale and other activities were also set up on campus, in addition to on-line donations, which has generated $1,735 so far to support the Make-A-Wish cause.

Since 2009, Barry University has been one of the number one wish granters in South Florida and among all NCAA Division II schools. Barry Athletics and The Department of Sports and Exercise Science have raised more than $50,000 for the foundation in the past five years, granting the wishes of two children a year since 2011.

NCAA Division II has supported Make-A-Wish for more than ten years, raising funds to help grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.