Seventeen-year-old Aly, who has a rheumatologic disorder, has a curious, creative soul. She is interested in learning more about the ins and outs of the music industry. Luckily, she lives close to Nashville. We were able to introduce Aly to several aspects of the music business during her dream day to be in the music industry.
Make-A-Wish: You have been a supporter, specifically a donor, of Make-A-Wish Middle Tennessee for many years, and you have seen wishes granted at our annual Stars for Wishes gala. What was it like to actually play a role in Aly’s wish to be in the music industry?
Joey Hemphill: Even after serving on the Make-A-Wish Middle Tennessee Board of Directors and being involved in Stars for Wishes, helping to grant Aly’s wish was an unexpected highlight for me. When I saw her step out of the car and saw her face, I knew that this was going to be something I would never forget. It was an awesome experience to share this moment with Aly and her family. You can hear about granting wishes and see it on a video all day, but until you actually witness the magic, you don’t know how wonderful it can be.
MAW: How did Hemphill Brothers Coach Company help with granting Aly's wish to be in the music industry for a day?
JH: Hemphill Brothers Coach Company has been designing and building custom coaches for the entertainment industry for more than 35 years. As part of Aly’s wish, we were able to introduce her to the design and selections process of building a bus She was then able to see the finished product by walking through coaches that were built and designed by artists that she loves. I was able to share personal stories about dealing with the artists through this process so she could get an insight into their world.
MAW: A wish is so impactful for a child, but how impactful was being a part of that wish to you?
JH: Part of the satisfaction of helping to grant Aly’s wish was to see the impact of Make-A-Wish first hand. It was impressive to see the staff in action. They were so caring and professional, down to the last detail. Also, it gave me such satisfaction that something that I do every day with my job gave Aly such joy. This means so much to me. As a father with a closely knit family, her family reminded me of my own. It was so important to them that this day was everything that she dreamed. This experience makes me want to continue my support of Make-A-Wish and aid in any way that I possibly can.
MAW: Why is Make-A-Wish important to you as a donor?
JH: As a donor, you can actually see where your donations and your efforts are going. There is no doubt that Make-A-Wish is greatly impacting the lives of many children and their families.