Twilight Wish Foundation, in partnership with students from Cristo Rey High School, granted the wish of the residents of St. Joseph’s Manor for six Samsung tablets. The students held several fundraisers this fall to raise money for these tablets. And, thanks to funding received from the Kistler-Tiffany Foundation, Twilight Wish was able to provide the additional funds needed to purchase the six tablets which were delivered by the students on December 15, 2016. Many of the residents of St. Joseph’s Manor have Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or dementia and tablets have been proven to be helpful in getting these patients to engage by playing music, videos and games on them. Higher functioning patients can play games like bingo or create art on them. Having the tablets will improve the quality of life for many of these residents. Students from Cristo Rey delivered the tablets on Thursday, December 15th, in time for Christmas and helped the residents learn how to use them.
Thanks to the generosity of employees from Horsham-based Optum, we were able to grant the simple needs wishes of thirteen residents at Luther Woods in Hatboro. As part of Optum’s community outreach efforts, employees in their Horsham office helped to brighten the holidays for these residents by granting their wishes for simple items such as sweaters, stuffed animals and even a life-size cardboard cutout of John Travolta. Optum employees visited Luther Woods and distributed the holiday gifts to the residents on Wednesday, December 14, 2016.
Kenneth Sible, a resident of Avalon, Pennsylvania, had his simple wish for a new suit granted, thanks to our Allegheny County chapter. Ken, 78, lives in a local senior living community. He is very involved in the local communities of Bellevue and Avalon. Throughout most of his life, Ken has provided prison ministry to inmates in local prisons. He also advocates for fair treatment on behalf of those past and presently in the prison correctional system. In addition, every Thanksgiving and Christmas, Ken takes what little income he has and purchases several turkeys which he donates to local churches for families in need. He also helps prepare and serve holiday meals at an area church for community members who have nowhere to go during the holidays. He wished for a new suit so that he is taken seriously when meeting with local politicians and community leaders. The Allegheny County chapter surprised him with a shopping trip at the Men’s Wearhouse in the Ross Park Mall on Wednesday, December 7th. Special thanks to Men's Wearhouse for discounting the clothing purchased.
Twilight Wish Foundation, in partnership with the Central Bucks Rotary’s Rotabuild program, The Home Depot Foundation and Provident Foundation, recently granted the wish of Leo and Joann McHugh to have a walkway and ramp built on their home. The completion of the project was celebrated with a ribbon cutting at the McHugh’s home in Doylestown borough on Wednesday, November 30, 2016.
The McHughs live in a home that has a very steep incline from the back door to the alley where they keep their car. Joann is currently being treated for ovarian cancer and has trouble walking, using a walker to get around. It was extremely difficult for her to navigate the sloped yard, especially in inclement weather. She was a teacher for many years and currently volunteers for the Vietnam Veterans of America. In the past, she also worked with Rolling Thunder to account for POW and MIA service people. Leo is a Vietnam veteran who served in the Army and has also been very involved in the community. He helped start a support group for families of service personnel from Willow Grove Air Base during Operation Desert Storm which led to the formation of United Veterans of Doylestown. In addition, Leo volunteered at the Bucks County Prison for eight years, helping incarcerated veterans.
Many community members also contributed to this wish including: Raphael Architects of Doylestown who developed the plans for the walkway and deck; Ernst Brothers Designers and Builders of Spring House who constructed the deck and bridge to walkway free of charge; Techo-Bloc of Pen Argyl who donated the walkway material and the installation; Phillips Contracting of Chalfont who provided the walkway excavation free of charge; and Stone Depot of Perkasie who discounted the cost of supplies and provided free delivery. In addition, funding from The Home Depot Foundation, Provident Foundation and the Central Bucks Detachment #636 Marine Corps League also made this wish possible.
Horace Hoilman, 90, a resident of Bakersville, North Carolina, recently had his simple wish for a lift chair granted. Horace lives alone and is housebound. His life centers around his chair where he frequently spend the night because it's so difficult for him to stand up from his old chair. He was nominated by his hospice worker who wrote that his old chair had no more cushion left in it and he was literally sitting on the wooden frame. Horace served in both the Navy and the Army. He was actually on board a naval ship that was patrolling the waters surrounding Japan when the atomic bombs were dropped during WWII. We were so glad to be able to grant this simple wish for such a deserving man. This will make such a difference in his quality of life.
Katherine Rapp, 74, a resident of Butler, PA, recently had her wish for a computer, desk and webcam granted, thanks to our Butler County chapter. Katherine does not have family living nearby and her main contact with family and friends is via the internet. She wished for a desktop computer with a webcam so that she could skype with her family. Katherine worked at Butler Memorial Hospital and Butler County Courthouse for years. Her wish was granted on November 21st by our Butler County chapter.
Shirley Calabria, 85, a resident of Eighty Four, Pennsylvania, had her very simple wish for a Giant Eagle gift card granted, thanks to our Washington County chapter. Shirley is a widow who lives on a very fixed income. The Giant Eagle card will assist with co-pays on her prescription medicines. Shirley and her husband, Donald, were very active in their community before he passed away in 2009. They spent many years conducting Bible study at the Mel Blount Youth Home. And, in addition to raising their own five children, they fostered 22 babies from Bethany until they could be adopted. Her simple wish was granted during a ceremony also attended by her son and daughter-in-law on November 20th.
Jim Fouratt, 75, a resident of New York City, had his simple wish for a new bicycle granted, thanks to the New York chapter of national nonprofit Twilight Wish Foundation. Jim relies on his bike to navigate the city, to get to his doctor appointments and as a way to keep fit. Recently, his bike was stolen and, because he lives on a fixed income, he couldn't afford to replace it on his own. Jim has a long history of community involvement in many issues including the anti-war movement and the gay liberation movement. He was nominated by his social worker who wrote that “a new bicycle is a vital necessity that will also help revitalize his spirit.” His wish was granted on Saturday, November 19, 2016.
John McCabe, 84, a resident of Westhampton, NY, had his wish for an electric wheelchair granted, thanks to our New York chapter. John, a permanent resident of Westhampton Care Center, wished for an electric wheelchair which will allow him to navigate on his own and maintain some independence. It will also give him the freedom to leave the facility and take part in activities that he currently cannot do because he has to rely on others to get around. John served in the Coast Guard during the Korean War on the USS Vance. In addition, he gave generously of his time, talents and resources to many in the community throughout his lifetime. He is a 50-year member of the Riverhead Lions Club, served on the board of directors for Riverhead Library and is past president of Foxwood Village in Calverton. In addition, he was very involved in St. John the Evangelist R.C. Church, serving as lector and Eucharistic minister. His wish was granted on Thursday, November 17, 2016.
Mary Jane Bishop, a resident of Speedway, Indiana had her wish for a yard makeover granted, thanks to the partnership between our Indiana chapter and American Senior Communities. Mary, 80, and her husband always took great pride in maintaining a beautiful yard. Sadly, her husband of 60 years recently passed away and she is physically unable to maintain her yard anymore on her own. Mary has been very involved in her community for years, volunteering with the Indy Crop Walk, her local PTA, Dellwood Day Camp and Church World Service. In addition, she served on the board and assisted with implementing a children’s program at Speedway Christian Church. Volunteers from the Indianapolis chapter of Twilight Wish gave her yard a much-needed sprucing up: they weeded the flowerbeds, raked alot of leaves, trimmed the bushes and decorated for Christmas. Thanks to Accurate Construction and Precision Painting, LLC for their generous donation towards this wish.
Lavetta Ray, 81, had her wish to go to Chicago with her sister one more time granted, thanks to the partnership between our Indiana chapter and American Senior Communities. Lavetta's husband used to take her shopping in Chicago when they were younger. Sadly he has passed away, but Lavetta wished to be able to go there one more time. She and her sister enjoyed a wonderful day together: they visited Navy Pier where they rode the Ferris wheel, toured Skydeck Chicago and shopped. Making the day even more special was CNN/HLN covering this amazing wish!
Charlotte Hosak, 77, a resident of Erie, PA, had her wish to see Ovo - Cirque de Soleil granted on November 2, 2016. Hosak has been fighting brain cancer for the last two years and wishes to see an upcoming performance with three family members to make a memory with them. Her caregiver wrote "Charlotte has always helped others in her senior community no matter how ill she felt. She would give anyone the shirt off her back." Hosak was given four tickets at a party in her honor on November 2, 2016. Pictured: Hosak with her caregiver.
Jerry Schwenk, 68, a resident of Erie, PA, had his wish for an air purifier granted on November 2, 2016 by our Erie chapter. Schwenk was an active duty Marine during the Vietnam War and is currently battling end stage respiratory failure. He continues to take care of his girlfriend of 15 years who has multiple sclerosis and is wheelchair bound. Having his wish for an air purifier granted will improve his quality of life.
Robert Lardin, a resident of Turtle Creek, PA, recently had his lifelong wish to ride in a blimp granted, thanks to the Allegheny County chapter of Twilight Wish Foundation. Growing up, Lardin was always interested in aviation, especially blimps. He recalls an instance when he was talking to the crew of the Budweiser blimp, he was almost knocked over by it, but he was so thrilled to be that close to a blimp he didn't care! A Navy veteran, Lardin also continues to serve others through his volunteer work in a local hospital. His wish came true on Sunday, October 9th when Lardin and his grandson took to the skies over Pittsburgh in the MetLife blimp! Thank you to MetLife for granting another amazing blimp wish for Twilight Wish!
William Ruff, a resident of Birmingham, Alabama, recently had his wish for a desktop computer granted, thanks to our Alabama chapter under the direction of Jim Elrod. Ruff, 68, has two passions in life: creating music and his involvement in the local chapter of National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Ruff is very involved in NAMI as a peer specialist and volunteer fundraiser. He is very passionate about ensuring that people with mental illness receive excellent care as well as support in the community. The computer will enable him to put in more hours as a volunteer fundraiser for NAMI. In addition, Ruff enjoys writing music and lyrics. He often collaborates with a friend in Floriday who also creates music and lyrics. The computer will allow the two of them to continue to develop/create together through the internet, face time and skype. Chapter director Jim Elrod delivered the new desktop computer to Ruff on October 11, 2016.
Edwin Slivinski, 92, a resident of Brevillier in Erie, PA, enjoyed his favorite meal at Serafini's Restaurant with his family. Ed has fished all his life and originally wished to go out on a boat fishing, but because he is in a wheelchair, no boat could accomodate him. Instead, our Erie, PA chapter arranged for the next best thing for Ed: a fresh Lake Erie perch dinner with his family!
Agnes Dager, 91, a resident of Ambler, PA, recently had her wish for a lift chair granted. Agnes has a difficult time getting up from her sofa because of her balance issues and arthritis. Her new lift chair will allow her to remain independent and improve her quality of life.
Margaret Werren, 92, recently had her wish to attend the monthly meeting of the Eugene, Oregon chapter of the American Rosie the Riveter Association granted. Margaret is one of the original Rosies from World War II and worked in a munitions plant in California during the war. She is active in her community, volunteering at the Eureka Rescue Mission and Auxiliary Senior Resource Center. Margaret also speaks before groups about World War II and her time as a Rosie. Originally, her wish was to go to the national reunion in Atlanta, but because of her age, it became too difficult for her to make the trip. The Eugene, Oregon chapter invited her to attend their September meeting and we arranged for her and her daughter to make the trip.
Anthony Ferlanto, 75, a resident of Tucson, Arizona, recently had his wish for a laptop granted by our Tucson chapter. Anthony is an Army veteran and has one son who he raised on his own from birth. He wished for a laptop to make it easier to keep in touch with his son. Anthony also loves to read and will use the laptop to study Greek and Hebrew so that he can better understand the Bible.
Mary Rose Carreo, a resident of Geneseo, New York, had her wish to meet a Buffalo Bills’ player granted thanks to the generosity of the Bills’ organization. Carreo has been a Buffalo Bills’ fan since she can remember and has attended games and training camp in the past. Carreo, who turned 100 on July 20th, is still a huge football fan and wished to meet a Buffalo Bills player for her birthday. She and her husband were married for 62 years until his passing in 2001. Together they raised two daughters and Carreo now has seven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. In addition to raising her daughters, Carreo worked for over 20 years in the local middle school and high school cafeterias. She also volunteered for the ladies auxiliary at the local fire department, was a Girl Scout leader and was very active in St. Mary’s Church. Her wish was granted on Friday, August 5th when she met several players including head coach Rex Ryan, quarterback Tyrod Taylor, Reggie Bush and LeSean McCoy to name a few. The Bills also treated her to a mini shopping spree at the gift shop and gave her a customized jersey with "100" on it.