Gilbert Tull, 73, a resident of Shreveport, Louisiana, had his wish to meet his half-brother in person for the first time granted, thanks to Twilight Wish Foundation. Tull, a widower with three children, seven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren, was a chaplain in the Marine Corps. He still conducts bible study groups in his local V.A. hospital, nursing homes and public library. He is also very involved in his church, doing prayer ministry, singing in the choir and as a soloist. When Tull was a young boy, his parents divorced and his father moved to California, remarried and had another son. Although the two brothers talk frequently on the phone, they have never met in person. They met for the first time Monday, November 25, 2013 when younger brother Glen Tull traveled from his home in California to Shreveport, Louisiana to spend a week with his brother. Click here to read the full story in the Shreveport Times.
Wendell Gilbert, 84, a resident of Brevillier Village in Erie, Pennsylvania, had his wish to return to his hometown of Oil City and visit his parents’ grave granted, thanks to the Erie chapter of Twilight Wish Foundation. Gilbert has been a resident of Brevillier Village for the past 11 years and has always been an advocate for other residents. He grew up in Oil City and, although he never finished school because of his disability, enjoyed fixing things for his neighbors. When Gilbert was still in Oil City, he often visited his parents’ graves and made sure they were well-maintained. His wish to visit their gravesite at Sunset Memorial Gardens was granted on Friday, October 25, 2013. As part of his wish, Gilbert also visited with family and enjoyed lunch in Oil City.
Ted Trampenau, 94, a resident of Fairview, PA, recently had his wish to have his book published, thanks to the Erie chapter of Twilight Wish. Trampenau is a prolific writer who is very proud of the many storeis and poems he has written. Many of these are about his wife of 66 years and the wonderful life they had together until she passed away several years ago. Trampenau wished to have these writings published so that he could share them with his family and friends. His wife, Nancy, passed away in 2010 after spending three years at St. Mary's of Asbury Ridge. He was so appreciative of the care she received there that he volunteered at their gift shop two days a week for two years until his health no longer allowed him to volunteer. His wish was granted on Sunday, October 20th during a book signing ceremony of "My Nancy, My Life," attended by many of his family members at the Chestnut Street Apartments where he lives. Coincidentally, this senior independent living facility used to be a school where his wife once worked. What a fitting location for such a special wish granting! Pictured, from left: nominator Stephanie Garcie, Ted Trampenau, and Erie chapter co-directors Julie Hartmann and Brad Gleason.
Steven Korngut is a resident of Golden LivingCenters in Doylestown. An avid reader and writer, he spends his days writing in his journal and takes his writing very seriously. Due to his medical situation, he is unable to leave the facility to go to the library or book store and cannot use a computer to do research. His wish for a set of encyclopedias came true on Thursday, September 19, 2013 when Twilight Wish representatives delivered two donated sets of encyclopedias to the nursing facility. In addition, Patricia Gallagher, affectionately known as the “Flower Lady” delivered bouquets of flowers to the residents. Gallagher, a resident of Chalfont, collects day-old bouquets at area Trader Joe's locations and distributes them to nursing home residents. She has delivered over 3,200 bouquets since beginning her deliveries in May of 2013.
Viola Young, 86 and a resident of Harmony, PA, had her wish for hearing aids granted, thanks to the New Castle, PA/Youngstown, OH chaper of Twilight Wish. Pictured, from left: Nicole Widdowson, Community Relations Director for Avada; Dr. Paula Sandoe of Avada; Viola Young; her daughter, Betsy Simpson; and Twilight Wish chapter director, Tom Ford.
Bernadine Van Thiel finally had her wish to meet President Carter granted, thanks to our The Pacific Northwest Chapter of Twilight Wish Foundation! Bernadine and her daughter, Rita, traveled from Spokane, WA to Plains, GA in early September. They were given a personalized tour of the Jimmy Carter Library & Museum and the Carter Center. On Sunday, they attended church services at Maranatha Baptist Church. While Bernadine was quietly sitting in her pew, President Carter snuck up behind her, tapped her on the shoulder, and then he and Mrs. Carter shook hands with her. Bernadine was so overwhelmed that she was practically in tears, not to mention speechless! They sat behind Bernadine and her daughter for the remainder of the Sunday services. After services were over, church members took several photos of Bernadine and Rita with President & Mrs. Carter. It was during this time that Bernadine was able to express her gratitude to the Carters for all they have done over the years.
Bill Manhardt, 75, had his wish for a barbecue with entertainment at his nursing facility granted on Thursday, September 12th. Manhardt, a longtime resident of Delaire Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Linden, NJ, is well known in the community for his patriotism and dedication to others. He is an elected member of the Union County Democratic Committee, a life member of the John Dawson Gilmary Shea Assembly of the Knights of Columbus where he has been Patriotic Chairman for over 20 years, and is a Notary Public. In addition, he is a member of the Moose Lodge in Linden, the Elizabeth-Linden Elks Lodge, and a lifetime member of the NRA. Despite his limited mobility and reliance on a wheelchair, Manhardt regularly hands out patriotic flyers he designs and prints himself at the shopping center across from his nursing facility. His wish was granted, thanks to the generosity of several donors. Manhardt is pictured with his nominator and volunteer advocate, Jean Seals.
Paul Diamond, 69, a resident of Foley, Alabama recently had his wish for hearing aids granted. Paul lost his hearing after a drop of weld fell into his ear when he was working as a milright years ago. With his hearing getting worse, Paul struggled to hear conversations with friends and family and needed the sound on the television and radio turned all the way up. Thanks to generous donors and Alabama Hearing & Balance Associates, his wish was granted.
"We don't know how to express our gratitude for everything Twilight Wish did for Paul!" said Colleen, his wife. "His attitude changed almost immediately and he can't wait to go to the library on Monday for his volunteer job to show off his new hearing!" Thanks to all who donated to make this wish come true!
Three elderly Doylestown residents had their wish to ride in a blimp granted, thanks to Twilight Wish Foundation and Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey (HBCBSNJ). Marion Soloski, Jim Maxwell, and Doris Myers, all in their 80s and all residents of Wesley Enhanced Living in Doylestown, were granted their wish on Saturday, August 24, 2013. They soared high above the Northern New Jersey landscape and were able to see the Manhattan skyline and Delaware Water Gap from the blimp, one of only 25 in the entire world.
This wish was made possible through the charitable ride program of the HBCBSNJ blimp. For 16 years, the Horizon blimp has provided community support through donations and partnerships with charitable organizations such as the American Cancer Society, Susan G. Komen Central and South Jersey, and Boys & Girls Clubs of New Jersey. This year, the Horizon blimp is devoting a part of its schedule to surveying, documenting, and celebrating the Superstorm Sandy recovery efforts from its “blimp-eye view.”
Special thanks to Steve Brown of Looking Glass Photography for taking such amazing photos of the wish!
Dorothy “Dot” Hartranft recently had her wish to celebrate her 91st birthday with friends at Perkins Restaurant granted, thanks to Twilight Wish Foundation. Hartranft has been a resident of the Golden LivingCenter in Doylestown for over three years. Born and raised in Bucks County, she is the proud mother to three sons and has nine grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. In addition to raising her family, she worked for many years as a telephone operator. After she retired, she made it her mission in life to help others in her community who lived alone, serving as a companion, personal shopper or dinner date, whatever she could do to make someone’s life happier.
Her simple wish to celebrate her birthday with friends at her favorite restaurant was granted on Wednesday, August 21st at the Perkins in Doylestown. Hartranft and her friends are all residents of the Golden LivingCenter and need assistance to leave the facility.
“This might seem like such a small thing to most people,” said Hartranft. “But to me, this is so special.”
Special thanks to Perkins who donated the cost of her meal and sent her home with a package of her favorite muffins. Thanks also to donor Lori Radel who covered the cost of breakfast for Hartranft’s dining companions. Finally, thanks to Steve Brown of Looking Glass Photography for the great photos of Dot's wish.
The beloved mascot of the Philadelphia Phillies, the Phillie Phanatic, recently paid a surprise visit to the residents of the Golden LivingCenter in Doylestown, thanks to Twilight Wish Foundation and to At Home Certified Senior Healthcare who funded the wish.
Because baseball and the Phillies are an important part of the day to day activities at the facility, the residents thoroughly enjoyed the visit from their favorite mascot. The Phanatic entertained the residents with his trademark antics while they enjoyed water ice and soft pretzels. Special thanks to At Home Certified Senior Healthcare of Doylestown for their generous donation which made this wish granting possible. Thanks also to Rita’s Water ice for donating water ice, to Giant of Doylestown for donating a cake, and to the Phillies for donating souvenirs for the residents. Finally, thanks to Steve Brown of Looking Glass Photography for the wonderful photos of the event.
Our Barstow, CA chapter recently granted a wish for Pascuala Sena, an 86-year-old resident of Barstow. Sena needed a new refrigerator, but couldn't afford the cost on her limited income. Thanks to Midway Home Solutions of Victorville, CA for discounting the cost of the refrigerator.
On Monday morning, August 5, 2013, Sydney Cohn, a resident of Broadview Manor in Pitcairn, had his wish for an electric lift chair granted, thanks to the Twilight Wish Foundation, Western PA Chapter.
Matt Carll and his brother Justin Carll from North Hills Medical fulfilled his wish as they delivered a beautiful new electric lift chair which was partially donated by Home Helpers. Melissa Allenbaugh, Service Coordinator for Eastern Area Adult Services, submitted the wish for Sydney and was present for the delivery.
Sydney could not stop smiling when the chair came in to his room with balloons, a Certificate of Appreciation and donuts to share with the building residents. Twilight Wish volunteers, Laura Partridge, Nikki McGill and Karen Haddad were also present.
Robert Smillie, a 73 year-old Army veteran, had his simple wish for new carpeting granted, thanks to the Southern California chapter of Twilight Wish Foundation. Smillie, who is a disabled amputee with a prosthetic leg, spends most of his time in his home. The carpeting in his home was worn and frayed, with many holes. His wife, Carol, who nominated him for the wish was afraid that he would trip and fall.
This wish was granted on July 24, 2013 thanks to the generosity of the staff of Sierra Hall at the University of Nevada in Reno who raised the money to grant this wish and to The Home Depot of Apple Valley who discounted the cost of the new carpeting for the Smillie’s. Southern California chapter co-directors Kelly Shemonis and Crista Sullivan were there for the carpet installation and to present Smillie with a wish certificate.
“Your kindness cannot be expressed in words,” said Carol Smillie. “When you spend 90% of your time in your home, having new carpeting is very special.”