The employees and volunteers of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Maine are putting the final touches on this year’s fantasy auction, which will be held Friday, July 23 at 5:30 p.m. at the Samoset Resort in Rockport.

Attending this year’s auction will be wish child Rachael Gerow, 12, and her family. Rachael recently returned home to Rome, Maine, from South Africa where she attended the FIFA World Cup final game as well as a safari adventure.

“This was such an important trip to me because I’ve been watching the World Cup forever,” said Rachael, who lives with cystic fibrosis. “It was amazing to be there in person to hear the music, vuvuzelas and everyone cheering. I felt like I could almost touch the trophy because it was just a few yards away. It was spectacular!”

Rachael’s father, Pete, said the family will be “reeling from this for years to come” and that Rachael has been brave and strong through treatments for her disease. According to him, Rachael felt it was a “no brainer” for her to participate in an experimental drug treatment because there was a chance that it would help other children like her.

“I think about the disease lots of the time,” said Rachael. “The wish let me forget it for a while.” She added that their family dog, Cupcake, was very excited to see the family when they returned from their journey.

The fantasy auction (with an island getaway theme of “One Can Make A Difference”) aims to raise money to continue to grant wishes such as this one given to Rachael. There are still seats available at the auction for $100 per person. Call 236-3171 or visit for more details about auction items or to register for the event.

The foundation is happy to welcome to the program this year Bruce Gamage Jr., antique estate auctioneer. He is the owner of Gamage Antiques of Rockland and will take the place of Bruce Buxton who has been auctioneer at this event since 1996.

Major sponsors of the event are Penobscot Bay Women’s Imaging and Viking Lumber. Supporting sponsors include O’Hara Corporation, Camden National Bank, Prock Marine Co., athenahealth, Hollywood Slots Hotel & Raceway, Dr. Candace Keene, and Boston Financial. Major in-kind support has been given by the Samoset Resort and Transformit. Other in-kind supporters include Greg Mort, Lowe’s, Bayview Gallery, and Ryan J. Moore Photography.