By Karli Barnett

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – It was a celebration of hope Wednesday for critically-ill children and their families here in South Florida.

Local leaders and the Make-A-Wish Foundation are celebrating a future space for the nonprofit that they hope will provide inspiration and fun for the people they serve.

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“We’re here because we believe in the transformational impact Make-A-Wish has on southern Florida has and has had in the past,” said former Wish Kid Devon Vickers.

Now, the Make-A-Wish Southern Florida Chapter is preparing to make an even bigger impact with the “Finker-Frenkel Wish House,” a permanent place in downtown Miami for the nonprofit and the families it serves.

“What this organization does is it gives the children who are the product of wishes, it gives them a chance, gives them hope, it gives them peace, it gives them moment of normalcy – something we often take for granted in our life,” said Mayor Francis Suarez.

Make-A-Wish has made thousands of children’s dreams come true here in South Florida. It recently marked an important milestone.

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“In our 40-year history in South Florida, we have granted more than 13,000 wishes,” said Make-A-Wish Southern Florida Board Chair Richard Weissman.

It will be in Miami’s Overtown neighborhood.

“This is perfect place and perfect moment to create experiences that will be created in this building,” said Suarez.

Construction is slated to start later this year on the 30,000 square foot, five-story structure.

The house is not just for the kids. It will also serve as a place for the nonprofit’s administrative offices.

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Weissman said this space will help establish its permanence in the community and allow more opportunities to raise money to grant even more wishes.

Karli Barnett