J.J. Wehmeyer, a resident of Doylestown, PA, had her wish for an air conditioner unit granted on July 7, 2016. Wehmeyer lives in subsidized housing where air conditioners are not provided for residents and must be special ordered to fit in the sleeve provided in the apartment. Because she lives on a fixed income, she could not afford it on her own.
Mary Thomas, 95, a resident of Brooklyn, will have her simple wish for a room makeover granted, thanks to our Long Island, New York chapter. Thomas was recently discharged from a nursing facility and now lives in the ground floor of her former home. She is homebound and requires 24-hour care. The room she is living in now is very dark and paneled and needs furnishings. Her case manager nominated her to have a room makeover to make her more at home and comfortable. New York chapter director James Ciervo and volunteers transformed Thomas’ room from dingy to warm and cozy. Thomas received a new bed, dresser, easy chair, and more, plus a television that she can actually see. This room makeover took place on Tuesday, July 5th at her home.
Sylvia Finnigan, a resident of Clinton Township, Michigan, recently had her wish for hearing aids granted by the recnelty-formed Michigan chapter and Hearing Consultants of Sterling Heights. This is the first wish granted by the Michigan chapter.
Finnigan, 73, has hearing loss and, without working hearing aids, experienced many obstacles in daily living. She raised her five children on her own as a single parent. After her youngest child graduated from high school, Finnigan enrolled in college and graduated with a B.A. from Oakland University. She currently works for the Senior Community Service Employment Program and is an active volunteer in her community. Finnigan volunteers with the Kiwanis Club of Mount Clemens, with the Anton Art Center and with the Taste of Troy fundraiser for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Troy, to name a few. In addition, she was a finalist for the Michigan Governor’s Community Service Award in 1997.
Her wish was granted on Thursday, June 23rd during a short ceremony at Hearing Consultants’ offices in Sterling Heights. Hearing Consultants donated all their services and new hearing aids to Finnigan. In addition, Lake Painting of Midland is sponsoring a two-year supply of hearing aid batteries for her. Chapter director Jessica Schluckebier presented Finnigan with a certificate honoring her for all she has done for others throughout her life.
Photo caption: From left: Michigan Chapter Director, Jessica Schluckebier; wish receipient, Sylvia Finnigan; and Marina Kade, audiologist at Hearing Consultants.
Robert Havey, 91, a resident of Pittsburgh, PA, recently had his wish to have his flower beds cleaned up granted, thanks to our Allegheny County chapter. Havey served in the Army during World War II and his unit helped liberate France. He has always been involved in his community, volunteered with the Boy Scouts and helping with the renovation of his church. In addition, Havey is in his 16th year of volunteering at Allegheny General Hospital! He always took great pride in the appearance of his yard, but as he got older, it became more difficult for him to manage. His wish was granted on June 26th when a group of volunteers from the Allegheny County chapter weeded, planted and mulched to make his yard look beautiful again.
Jean Magnant, a resident of Indianapolis, Indiana had her wish to visit her 93-year-old sister who lives in a facility in Texas granted, thanks to the partnership between the Twilight Wish Foundation Chapter of Indiana and American Senior Communities. Magnant, who is 100, is a resident of Rosegate, a proud member of American Senior Communities. She and her sister, Mary Richards, talk weekly on the phone, but haven’t seen each other in over five years. When the two sisters were younger and both married, they would frequently travel hundreds of miles to visit each other. After their husbands passed away, they continued to travel to each other’s homes. As they got older, it became more difficult for them to make the drive and then Richards moved to Fort Worth, Texas to be closer to her daughter. Magnant and her late husband volunteered throughout their 52-year-long marriage at St. Francis Hospital and St. Jude Catholic Church. She still keeps herself busy at 100 by making rosaries for her church, playing Words with Friends on her tablet and reading the newspaper daily. Magnant and her daughters traveled to Dallas on Wednesday, June 15th and visited with her sister.
Charles Newnam, a WW II veteran, recently had his wish to receive his high school diploma granted. Like so many other young men of his generation, Newnam dropped out of Roman Catholic High School to join the Navy during World War II. He served four years in the Pacific, and, although proud of his service, always regretted not getting his diploma. As a surpise for him, his daughter submitted a wish application on his behalf, hoping that Twilight Wish could help get his diploma. Newnam was presented with an honorary diploma from Roman Catholic during a surprise presentation at a family party on Saturday, June 4th. Another surprise, riders from Warriors Watch met Newnam and his wife at the Delaware/Pennsylvania border and escorted them to his daughter's home in Southampton, Pennsylvania.
Nancy Stewart, a resident of Monroe Township, NJ, has always dreamed of riding in a blimp. As a young child, she would sit on the beach on the south shore of Long Island and wave at the planes and blimps as they flew past. Now 89, Stewart is grandmother to four and great-grandmother to two, but still dreams of having her wish granted. Stewart was an English teacher for over 20 years and remains active in her church and community, serving as volunteer usher at several local theaters and as an elder in her church. Her wish to ride in a blimp came true on Friday, May 27th when she rode in the MetLife blimp over New Jersey. Special thanks to the MetLife blimp and crew for making Stewart’s lifelong wish a reality!
Marie Ruffin, 68, recently had her wish for a keyboard, stand and bench granted, thanks to the Westmoreland County chapter of Twilight Wish. Ruffin wished for a portable keyboard so that she could play music in local nursing homes which she loves to do. In her own words: "I love making people happy because it makes me happy when they see that someone cares."
Thanks to the generosity of several donors, we were able to send a group of nursing home residents on a day trip out of their facility in May. The activities department of their facility operates on a very minimal budet which makes it difficult for them to provide outings like this for the residents. The six residents enjoyed a bus ride to a delicious lunch at Shady Maple Smorgasbord in East Earl, PA.
Carol Soboczynski, 69, a resident of South Amboy, NJ, recently had her wish for a grave marker that commemorates her brother's military service for his grave granted. Soboczynski made this selfless wish request to honor her brother who she describes as someone who always put others first and was so respected by others. She wrote to us: He helped make my life worthwhile and taught me the values I try to live by today."
Mike and Marilyn Bidzila recently had their simple wish for a new sofa granted, thanks to the Westmoreland County chapter of Twilight Wish. Marilyn is unable to walk so spends the majority of her time in a wheelchair. They wished for a firm sofa so that she would be able to sit on it and not have to spend all her time in the wheelchair. Mike served as an Airman First Class in the Air Force and was involved in their community as a member of the Knights of Columbus. Their wish was granted on May 13, 2016.
Lucille Hiteshew, a longtime fan of the Indiana Pacers, recently had her wish to see a game in person granted, thanks to our Zionsville, Indiana chapter. Lucille had an amazing time, thanks to the generosity of the Pacers!
Dorothy Potts, a resident of Dravosburg, Pennsylvania, had her wish to have her whole family together again granted, thanks to our Allegheny County chapter. Potts, who is 82, has three daughters, five grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Two of her grandchildren live in California and she has not seen them in over two and a half years. Potts’ health is declining and she is now bedridden so having her wish to see her whole family together is very important to her. The Allegheny County chapter arranged to have her two grandchildren fly in from California and spend several days, including Easter weekend, with Potts and the rest of her family.
Ken Harris, a resident of the Abramson Residence in North Wales, PA, had his wish for a new power chair granted, thanks to funding received from the Volpe & Koenig I Promise Charitable Giving Fund. Harris, 70, served in the Navy during the Vietnam War. His old power chair broke a few months ago and was beyond repair. Because he lives on a fixed income, Harris could not afford to replace it on his own. Having his wish granted will enable Harris to maintain his independence and not rely on others to get around his facility.
Judith Partridge, a resident of St. Joseph's Residence in Enfield, CT, had her wish for a power wheelchair granted, thanks to our Long Island, NY chapter. Partridge has several medical conditions and is wheelchair bound. Her only method of getting around was using a manual wheelchair so she either had to rely on others to push her around or had to use her feet to push the chair herself. Partridge served in the Medical Corps of the U.S. Army as a medical specialist working in physical therapy. After her discharge, she belonged to the American Legion and was involved in supporting other veterans. A generous donor bought the chair for her and James Ciervo, our Long Island, NY chapter director delivered it on Thursday, March 10th.
Faye Hanson, a resident of Pittsburgh, had her wish to receive an honorary degree from the University of Mount Union granted, thanks to the Allegheny County chapter of Twilight Wish Foundation. Hanson attended Mount Union in the 1950s and was in her senior year, studying pre-med when experienced several tragic life-altering events. Because of this, she was forced to leave school and never completed her degree. Now 76, Hanson still talks about her college days and regrets not finishing her degree. Her wish to receive an honorary degree from Mount Union was granted on Wednesday, March 9th during a ceremony honoring her at her nursing facility in Pittsburgh.
Angela Brindley, a resident of Oak Harbor, Ohio, was recently surprised by a visit from McDonald’s icon, Ronald McDonald, thanks to Twilight Wish and the Humbard family, owner of the local McDonald’s. Brindley, 96, was recently diagnosed with cancer and has very little appetite. In trying to find foods that she would eat, her family discovered that she loves McDonald’s Sausage McMuffins. She eats half in the morning and the other half later in the day. With her recent cancer diagnosis, her family thought it would lift her spirits to surprise her with a visit from Ronald McDonald and they contacted us.
When they heard of the Brindleys’ request, the Humbard family immediately responded and set up a visit from Ronald. On Friday, February 26th, Ronald McDonald and the Humbard family surprised Brindley with breakfast, a gift basket and a $500 check to help with her medical expenses. Brindley truly enjoyed this special visit and it definitely lifted her spirits.
Huge Penguins' fan Betty Cummings, 91, her wish to watch them play in person granted, thanks to the Allegheny County chapter of Twilight Wish and the Pittsburgh Penguins. Cummings is a huge sports fan and loves to watch the Penguins play on her little television, cheering on her favorite player, Sidney Crosby! Widowed 12 years ago, Cummings has five daughters, 13 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren. She is known for her amazing attitude and giving nature. Cummings volunteered for over 20 years for Meals on Wheels, retiring at the age of 90. She is also very involved in her church: she sings in the choir, is an officer in the Christian Women’s Guild, visits shut-ins, works at church festivals, attends daily Mass and is a lector, cantor and Eucharistic minister. This deserving woman’s wish came true thanks to the Pittsburgh Penguins who went above and beyond to make her wish so amazing. They donated suite tickets and refreshments and made sure that Betty was visited by her seven family members who also attended the game.
Samuel Cree, 72, was born and raised in Washington County. Cree took care of his mother until she passed away and now lives on his own. He recently had a stroke and is no longer able to work or keep up with repairs around his home. He is in desperate need of a new washing machine but cannot afford one on his fixed income. Cree was active in the community throughout his life, including working on Saturdays in the township recycling department. His simple wish for a new washing machine was granted thanks to the Washington County chapter of Twilight Wish. Cree was presented with a certificate honoring him for all he has done for others throughout his life on Tuesday, February 2, 2016 at a special disco-themed luncheon. Cree is a huge disco fan!! Thank you to Bridgeville Appliances for discounting the cost of the washing machine and providing free delivery and set up. Also, thanks to the following chapter volunteers for their hard work in granting this wish: Marie Guarascio, Activity Director of Transitions Healthcare; DeAnna Naumann, Marketing Representative of Sunny Days In Home Care; and Christine McGuire, Director of Admissions, Consulate Healthcare.
Phyllis Lakin, 85, a resident of Greensburg, PA, had her simple wish for hearing aids granted, thanks to the Westmoreland County chapter of Twilight Wish. Lakin had severe hearing loss and struggled to take part in conversations. She could not longer hear her family when they called her and couldn't take part in social activities at her community. Thanks to Emerson Fazekis and Miracle Ear of Greensburg who greatly discounted her hearing aids, her wish was granted. A special thanks also to Bill Bernard owner of The Boulevard Restaurant in Greensburg for treating Lakin to a delicious lunch as part of her wish granting. Finally, a big thank you to Christy Stahl from The Thorne Group for her hard work on this wish.