TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Tampa’s Hyde Park Village was transformed into a mystical and magical place Thursday night as families gathered for the annual tree lighting ceremony.
Hundreds made their way to Swann Avenue for “Holiday Happening,” which also benefitted Make-A-Wish Southern Florida.
Right before sunset, the Christmas carols set the tone for the evening. Then, after dark all eyes were on the tree as it lit up to mark the beginning of the holiday season.
During the ceremony, the Make-A-Wish surprised a 4-year-old girl who is battling neuroblastoma.
Her wish came true as she was granted a weeklong trip to Orlando to visit her favorite theme parks.
“A wish gives a child hope,” said Lisa Andrews with Make-A-Wish Southern Florida. “It gives them an opportunity of something to look forward to. Once they have the wish it’s something to look back on.”
The special surprises from Make-A-Wish Southern Florida also offers children additional comfort and support as they go through treatment and recovery.
The organization also said the holidays are one of the busiest seasons in order to grant wishes to as many children as possible.
Visit the Make-A-Wish Southern Florida website for more information.