Can you please tell us a bit about yourself personally? Names/ages of kids, etc.?
Emily Wolowitz: I grew up in Greenwich and attended Greenwich Academy and Hotchkiss. I studied Journalism at GWU and then pursued a career in fashion PR at KCD, NET-A-PORTER and Hermes. I met my husband, who is also from Greenwich, in NYC. We moved back to Greenwich shortly after getting married. I have a 3 year old girl named Daisy at GCDS, and a one year old boy named Owen. After my daughter was born, I left the fashion industry to pursue interior design and have my own design firm.
Victoria Filippelli: My name is Victoria Filippelli, I grew up in Greenwich and attended Greenwich High School, where I met my husband, Pierce. I studied Economics at UCONN and then began my career as a residential realtor in Greenwich for over a decade. We have a one year old daughter, named Ava.
Where do you live in Greenwich and what do you love about Greenwich and your neighborhood/ what made you decide to move there/ how long have you been there?
Emily: I live up North Street in “Backcountry”. My husband and I gravitated toward the area because we loved how quiet and peaceful it is, despite being 15 minutes from town. It truly feels like you’re in the country where we are, making it easy to unplug on the weekends and spend time with our family.
Victoria: My husband and I were both born and raised in Greenwich, we are fortunate to have our families still in town and could not imagine raising our family anywhere else. We live downtown, walking distance to “The Ave” and enjoy the convenience of being centrally located.
Please tell us about the Make-a-Wish Foundation?
Emily and Victoria: Make-A-Wish has been granting life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses and their families for over 40 years nationwide and internationally. The idea is that receiving a wish experience can change the trajectory of a child’s illness. The positive experience can give them an increase in optimism and courage to comply with their treatments. Further, granting a wish not only impacts the wish kid but also their families, sponsors, donors, medical professionals and wider communities. Wish Night CT raises critical funds for the CT chapter and is the chapter’s largest fundraising event of the year. The event is directly responsible for granting over 50 wishes in the state annually.
How and why did you get involved with the Make-A-Wish Foundation? How long have you been volunteering for them?
Emily: My husband Jordan’s parents, Steve and Allison Wolowitz, have been involved in Wish Night and with Make-A-Wish CT for many years. They introduced me to the organization. After experiencing my first Wish Night with them and hearing the wish kids share their moving stories, I knew I wanted to help in any way that I could. I started off on the committee and have been a co-chair of the event for three years now.
Victoria: My husband, Pierce is a “Wish Kid” recipient and is forever grateful that his wish to meet Steve Jobs was granted in 2004. That year, the Filippelli’s offered to help Make-A-Wish with a fundraiser in Fairfield County, and the annual gala in Greenwich was born. We have been involved ever since and this will be my third year co-chairing Wish Night.
Do you have a favorite Wish that you were able to help grant?
Emily: Each wish granted is so unique, and it would be impossible for me to pick a favorite. It is really moving to hear why the chosen experience matters to each wish kid. They’re often thinking about their families and communities before themselves, despite all that they are going through. I am amazed to hear that many of the wishes have to do with giving back to the child’s school, improving something in their community, or involve establishing organizations that will help other children who are undergoing difficult circumstances like them. I’ve seen one wish kid who lost her hair ask for the support to start up her own wig business to gift other children wigs and another wish to improve their school’s recreation room.
Victoria: They’re all memorable and it’s very special to see how a wish unites neighbors, friends and entire communities in life changing experiences.
If you are interested in learning more, or getting involved, what are the best next steps?
Emily: If you’re interested in getting involved, please reach out to Victoria and myself directly! We are always looking for passionate committee members and volunteers.
Victoria: Join us on Saturday, November 11th at Greenwich Country Club for an amazing evening celebrating the power of a wish (Get Your Tickets HERE).
What are you most excited about in your role as Gala Co-Chairs?
Emily: It’s been very rewarding to bring friends into the Make-A-Wish community. I love seeing it start with attending Wish Night and grow into a multi-year long partnership with the organization. Additionally, we have seen a steady growth in table and sponsorship sales and have reached all time fundraising goals, and we know it is only going to get better with time!
Victoria: Each year we are overwhelmed by the generosity from our passionate community who have supported Make-a-Wish year after year. Our event is unique as we grant a wish live during the event, my favorite moment by far is witnessing the power of a wish.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve gotten from another mom?
Emily: Oh, all of my good advice has come from moms! I think some of the best advice I’ve heard is to make sure you have a good support system.
Victoria: The days are long but the years are quick- be present and enjoy every moment (+ live close to family 🙂)
What do you like to do to relax/have fun for yourself and as a family?
Emily: We like to hang out at home and cook, go on walks with our kids and dog, and spend time with family and friends.
Victoria: We love to travel, cook and spend time with our families.
We love to support local businesses. What are your fave places when you are in Greenwich to:
Victoria: CFCF Coffee on The Ave
Emily: SLT, The Studio Greenwich and Coreplay, which I’ve recently discovered (I now understand the hype!)
Go on a Date Night
Emily: La Cremaillere
Victoria: The Tavern at Gray Barns
Go Out for a Girls Night
Emily: Polpo or Le Penguin
Victoria: Happy Monley
Go out to Dinner as a Family
Emily: Terra or Applausi
Victoria: Boxcar Cantina or Terra
Get your Hair Done
Emily: Maison D’Alexandre
Victoria: Maison D’Alexandre / La Brosse
Get your Nails Done
Have Fun as a Family
Emily: Tods Point, lunch at Meli Melo and then a trip to Diane’s Books, or the Bruce Museum. We also love to go to local concerts!
Victoria: We love morning walks on the Ave, going to Bruce Park and Tod’s Point.