"Toss" Weikko Tossavainen, 90, had his wish to enjoy a belated birthday dinner at the Selanne Steak Tavern in Laguna Beach granted, thanks to the Southern California chapter of Twilight Wish Foundation. Tossavainen, a World War II veteran, is Finnish and very proud of his roots. He had hoped to celebrate his 90th birthday on January 11th at the Selanne Steak Tavern which is owned by Teemu Selanne, former NHL star, known as “the Finnish Flash,” but wasn’t able to get there on his own. Tossavainen is the sole caregiver for his wife and having his wish granted meant a great deal to him. Co-chapter directors Crista Sullivan and Kelly Shemonis accompanied Tossavainen and his wife to dinner where they enjoyed a wonderful dinner. Special thanks to the Selanne Steak Tavern for covering the cost of the group's dinner.
Elsie Williams, a resident of South Mountain Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center in Vauxhall, New Jersey, is having her wish to learn how to read granted. Williams, 86, enjoys looking at magazines in her room, but cannot read them. She wishes to learn how to read so that she can enjoy books and magazines and participate in more activities in her nursing facility. This simple wish for something that most people take for granted will open up the world for Williams. Thanks to volunteer tutor Cheryl Ricei, Williams’ wish to learn how to read is being granted!
Twilight Wish was privileged to grant Virt's wish to honor his deceased brother, a WWII veteran, by taking his ashes up in a B-17 to release them. Virt's brother, Vern, was a radio operator and top turret gunner in a B-17 during WWII. According to Virt, his brother was so proud of his service that his dying wish was to take one last flight in a B-17 bomber. Virt's wish took place during the recent WWII show at the Mid-Atlantic Air Museum in Reading, PA.
Bill Zitnick, a resident of Cottage Grove, Wisconsin, hd his poignant wish for a last vacation with his family granted recently. Zitnick, an Army veteran, loves nature and wildlife and was an avid outdoorsman before he became sick. His family has always been very important to him and he always put the needs of them first. Now in hospice care, he wishes for one last vacation with his wife, his three daughters and his grandchildren. Because of his medical and financial limitations, he and his wife could not afford the cost of the vacation on their own. Thanks to funding received from Volpe & Koenig, P.C.’s IPromise Charitable Giving Fund, Zitnick’s wish for a last family vacation was granted by Twilight Wish when he and his family spent a week at Evergreen Lodge in Boulder Junction, Wisconsin.
Thank you to the Philadelphia Phillies for helping to grant Andrew's last wish to go to a Phillies game with his family. Andrew, who is 74 and a Veteran, has ALS and is in hospice care. He, his wife, their two daughters and their husbands enjoyed a wonderful day at the ballpark on May 14, 2015.
Twilight Wish recently partnered with Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses' Association (GAPNA) to grant the simple needs wishes of 60 residents of the James J. Wilson Mercy-Douglass facility in Philadelphia, PA. GAPNA members donated items such as toiletries, coffee, and socks during their pharmacological conference in March in Philadelphia. Twilight Wish staff and GAPNA staff and members delivered gift bags with simple needs items to the 60 low-income residents on May 7, 2015.
Carol Ring, a resident of Grundy Manor in Telford, Pennsylvania, recently had her wish to travel to Las Vegas to see her great-niece and great-nephew's graduations granted. Years ago, Carol helped her niece, a single mother, by providing emotional and caregiving support to her and her three young children. Thanks to Carol's support, her niece was able to graduate from college and become a teacher while a single parent. Carol had not been able to see them for several years and wished to travel to Las Vegas to see their graduations from nursing school and high school.
Marlene Otterman, a 73 year-old resident of North Braddock, PA, had her wish for a new twin mattress and box spring granted, thanks to the Allegheny County chapter of Twilight Wish Foundation and Mattress Firm. Otterman, who lives in low-income senior housing, had used the same old twin bed since she was a child. The mattress is in such bad condition that she could no longer sleep on it and had been sleeping in a chair instead. Because she lives on a fixed income, Otterman could not afford the cost of a new mattress on her own. She has given back to others throughout her life, including teaching bible study at Shady Park Place for the past eight years. Her wish came true during a presentation on Tuesday, April 28th at Mattress Firm in Monroeville. This wish was granted thanks to the generosity of Mattress Firm who donated the mattress and box spring and Speedy Furniture who donated the headboard and nightstand.
Myra Bernstein, 69, is a longtime resident of the Madlyn and Leonard Abramson Center for Jewish Life in North Wales, PA. Myra is disabled and unable to walk, but is a vibrant member of her community, particpating in their glee club, art classes, and exercise programs. She also contributes her literary talents to enrich others' lives, according to her social worker, Marilyn Frazier. Her seven year-old power chair recently broke and the cost to fix it was essentially the cost of a new chair. Because of her financial situation, she couldn't afford the cost of a new chair on her own. This wish was granted thanks to two people: our Long Island, NY chapter director, James Ciervo, and donor Tracy Frederick, who donated her father's gently used power chair after he passed away. A huge thank you also to James for driving the power chair down to Myra's nursing facility in Pennsylvania from his home in New York. Pictured: James Ciervo with Myra.
Theo Mechtawi, a 76 year-old resident of Washington, PA, had his wish for a face-to-face communicator granted, thanks to several generous donors. Mechtawi became completely deaf two years ago and, because he doesn’t sign, his only way of communicating is using a dry-erase board. This difficulty in communicating with others has changed him from a very social person who taught at the college level to an isolated, depressed person. Because he lives on a fixed income, he could not afford the cost of the face-to-face communicator on his own. Mechtawi fled from his home in Beirut, Lebanon in the mid-1980s, leaving behind his business and all he knew to save his life. He became a U.S. citizen and worked in the electronics field for years. Mechtawi has also given to others throughout his life; he “adopted” a single mother and her son here in America and has helped them for years, providing food, clothing, support and love, asking nothing in return. His wish came true during a presentation on Monday, April 6th at Senior Life in Washington. Special thanks to sComm for discounting the cost of the device.
Ernest Lopez, 74, and his wife are both disabled and live in an assisted living facility in East Orange, New Jersey. Lopez is a talented artist, but wishes to improve his drawing skills by taking classes at Arts Unbound, a special art program for people with disabilities. His goal is to become a better artist so that his art can be exhibited. His wish to take art lessons was granted thanks to the generosity of the students of University of Nevada, Reno and several other donors.
Guenther Volkman is 84 and a resident of House of Prayer Assisted Living in Tucson. Years ago, back in his homeland of Germany, Guenther was a horse jockey. Now, he is wheelchair-bound and in hospice care in his nursing facility. His last wish to revisit a horse racetrack before he dies was granted thanks to our Tucson Arizona chapter and the generosity of Rillito Downs. Guenther spent a wonderful day at the racetrack with his family and Tucson chapter volunteers. One of the races was named after him and the winning jockey dedicated the race to him. Guenther was also featured on the Jumbotron and was honored in the winner's circle. Special thanks to Rillito Downs for their generosity in helping to grant this wish. Watch the coverage of his wish here on KGUN 9 and KVDA NBC4.
Wanda W., 73, a resident of Brevillier Village in Erie, PA, had her wish for lunch out with her two daughters granted, thanks to our Erie, PA chapter. Wanda suffers from a progressive neurological disease and, because of her physical limitations, hasn't left the facility in over two years. Her wish was to visit with her daughters, Debbie and Christine, while she is still able. This simple wish was so important to Wanda because it has been nearly six years since the three of them enjoyed a lunch out together.
Thanks to United Health Group: Delaware Optum employees and several other donors, Louise's wish to have lunch with her extended family was granted on Saturday, January 24, 2015 at the Olive Garden in Christiana, Delaware. Louise will also be treated to a day out shopping at a later date, also thanks to these donors.
Doylestown nursing home resident Robert Richardson had his wish for a motorized wheelchair granted, thanks to the employees of W. Atlee Burpee & Company and Twilight Wish Foundation. Robert has been a resident of Briarleaf Nursing Home in Doylestown for over eleven years and spent the last six in a wheelchair. However, due to his medical condition, it had become very difficult for Robert to self-ambulate in his manual wheelchair. Robert, who was born in Ireland, has no family here in the U.S. and, due to his limited income, could not afford the cost of a motorized chair on his own. But, thanks to the generosity of the employees of W. Atlee Burpee & Company, his simple wish came true!
Every year, Burpee’s 160 employees choose a charity to donate to during the holiday season. This year, they chose Twilight Wish Foundation and raised $4,500 through a silent auction at their Christmas party. Several employees, including Burpee CEO and Chairman George Ball were on hand for unveiling of Robert’s new wheelchair. Special thanks to Steve Brown of Looking Glass Photography for taking photos at the wish granting. Pictured: Burpee employees, representatives from Twilight Wish with Robert.
Ron Albers, 83, was a pastor in The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod for over 40 years. He suffered a stroke three years ago and now he and his wife, Barbara, are residents of Lutheran Manor in Wauwatosa, WI. Ron is wheelchair bound and it is very difficult for them to leave their facility. Because of this, they have not been able to attend church services in several years. They were nominated by Barbara’s college roommate and friend of over 58 years, Shirley Beggs. Shirley remembered Barbara telling her that she would give anything to be able to take her husband to Christmas services at their church, Elm Grove Evangelical Lutheran Church. This simple and poignant wish was granted on Christmas Day when they were transported from their facility to their church to attend services. To watch the video coverage on WDJT-CBS 58, click here.
Carol Smith, 79, recently had her wish for hearing aids granted, thanks to Jim Atkins of Miracle Ear - Bensalem. Carol raised three children while working full-time and also volunteered as a den mother for her sons' Cub Scouts troop. After retiring, she became the primary caretaker for both her husband, who has severe dementia, and her son, who suffered a stroke. Both are now living in nursing facilities while Carol now lives alone in low-income senior housing. Although she badly needed hearing aids, she couldn't afford them on her own. Thanks to Jim Atkins of Miracle Ear who generously donated the evaluation and two hearing aids, Carol can now hear again!
Mary Morrow, 97, recently had her wish for hearing aids granted, thanks to the Indiana chapter of Twilight Wish. According to her nominator, Sister Rosemarie Yao, Mary is a young, vibrant 97 years old whose only health issue is that she is hard of hearing. In fact, up until 2013, Mary still swam 50 laps weekly! Mary is also very religious and attends daily Mass. For over 30 years, Mary and her husband volunteered at their church in outreaching to new parishoners, welcoming them and personally visiting them. After her husband passed away, Mary continued her community involvement, volunteering at St. Augustine Home for over ten years. With the help of Tami and Alan Schwenk of the Take a Trip Foundation as well as Terie and Katie Thompson of St. Alphonsus Catholic Church, Mary's wish was granted. Pictured: Nominator Sister Rosemarie, Mary, and Tami Schwenk.
Doris Powell celebrated her birthday by having her wish to do something special this year granted. Doris, a resident of Spring Arbor of Raleigh Residential Assisted Living, suffers from multiple sclerosis (MS). Prior to being diagnosed with MS, this mother of two and grandmother of four worked as a teller for a local bank. Doris is an integral part of the Spring Arbor community and is well known for her infectious smile, positive attitude and colorful outfits! Her wish was to get her hair and nails done, get dressed up and ride in a limo to a birthday dinner with friends at her favorite restaurant. Thanks to several generous donors, her wish was granted on her birthday, Friday, December 12, 2014, when she and her friends traveled via limo to Red Lobster where they enjoyed a delicious dinner together.
Helen Morrow, 78, a resident of Wampum, PA will have her wish to go to a Steelers granted on December 28th. Tom Ford, chapter director of the New Castle, PA chapter of Twilight Wish, presented her wish an autographed football, game tickets and a wish certificate at her facility on Tuesday, November 25th. Helen is a faithful, lifelong Steelers fan, but had never had the chance to go to a game in person. She was an LPN for years at Allegheny General Hospital, retiring twice but returning back each time, until she retired for the third and final time. Helen was nominated by Tara Lutz, a nurse's aid at Life Lawrence County. Pictured, Helen with Tara Lutz.