Fulfilled Wishes

Entries in CA (16)


Phyllis G., 95, Fairfax, CA

Phyllis Gould, 95, a resident of Fairfax, California,  had her wish to attend the annual American Rosie the Riveter Association (ARRA) reunion granted, thanks to several generous donors.  During WWII, Phyllis worked as a welder at the Kaiser-Richmond shipyards, helping to build Liberty and Victory ships. She and fellow Rosie, Mae Krier of Levittown, PA, were instrumental in getting lawmakers to pass a resolution designating March 21, 2017 as ‘National Rosie the Riveter Day,’ a national day of recognition for the millions of women who supported the war effort on the home front during WWII.  These women joined the workforce in increasing numbers and took on roles previously held by men during the war. The two women have worked tirelessly over the past eight years, contacting politicians and media outlets seeking this much-deserved recognition. Phyllis could not afford the cost of the trip from her home in California to the reunion in Kansas City, Missouri so she turned to national nonprofit Twilight Wish, who two years prior, had granted Mae's wish to do the same. Her wish was granted in early June 2017. Phyllis is in the top row, fifth from the left.


Patricia A., 82, Barstow, CA

Patricia Archibeque, 82, a resident of Barstow, California recently had her wish for new skirting for her mobile home granted, thanks to our Barstow chapter. Patricia lives alone in a mobile home and the skirting around the bottom of the trailer was crumbling. The skirting is needed to keep debris and small animals from getting under her home, but Patricia couldn't afford it on her fixed income. Thanks to our Barstow chapter, her wish was granted in late May 2017.


Guilana B., 66, Barstow. CA

Guilana Bender, 66, a resident of Barstow, California, recently had her wish to visit her dying brother one more time granted by our Barstow, CA chapter. Guilana's brother was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in February and only given a few months to live. She wished to visit him one more time, but couldn't afford it on her own. Thanks to our Barstow chapter, her poignant wish was granted in late May.


Margaret W., 92, Eureka, CA

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.


Weikko T., 90, Orange, CA

"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.


Virginia, 87, Santa Cruz, CA

Virginia Kirby, a resident of Santa Cruz, CA recently had her poignant wish to visit her family's gravesites in Los Angeles granted by our Southern California chapter.  Kirby has not been able to visit their graves in years because of the cost and distance.  At the age of 87, this wish is very meaningful and important to her.  Kirby has been very involved in her community throughout her life.  Even now, she is an active member of three senior centers in Santa Cruz and works as a volunteer for both the Democratic Women's Club of Santa Cruz County and the Symphony League of Santa Cruz County.


Hinda S., 68, Los Angeles, CA

Thanks to our Southern CA Chapter and a generous donor, Hinda's wish came true!

Hinda is a disabled senior who volunteered at the Shriner's Hospital for Children for 19 years. She also enjoyed sending cards to service men and women before her eyesight deteriorated.  She would like to be able to connect with her friends using her computer, but due to her eyesight she cannot read the screen.  Her wish is for a new computer with a large screen.




Pascuala S., 86, Barstow, CA

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.


Robert S., 73, Apple Valley, CA

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.” 


Dora B., 73, Barstow, CA

Dora Baca, a 73-year-old resident of Barstow, recently had her wish for a power chair granted, thanks to the Barstow, California chapter of Twilight Wish Foundation.  Baca requires assistance to get around and wished for a power chair so that she could maintain her independence and improve her health.

Baca has helped others throughout her life, including working as a caregiver in a hospital setting for over 40 years.  In addition, she is very involved in her church.  Her simple wish was granted on July 8, 2013.




Richard C., 73, Barstow, CA

Richard Caton, 73, recently had his wish for a power chair granted by the Barstow, Ca. chapter of Twilight Wish.  Caton, who worked 43 years as a barber, suffers from peripheral artery disease (PAD) and has poor circulation in both legs, leaving him unable to get around on his own.  Before retiring, Caton often went to hospitals and nursing homes to cut the hair of those who couldn't make it to the barber shop.  Thanks to the generosity of donor Diana Pace, his wish came true on April 22, 2013.  The power chair will enable Caton to maintain his independence, allowing him to grocery shop and participate in other activities.  Pictured, Barstow chapter director Jeff Eason with Richard Caton.


Ronald F., 71, Barstow, CA

Ronald Fry, 71, had his wish for a new hospital bed granted by the recently-formed Barstow, CA chapter of Twilight Wish.  Fry, who sufferes from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), has trouble breathing and is unable to sleep laying flat.  For the past few years, he was forced to sleep in a recliner and was unable to get a good night's sleep.  Thanks to Diana Pace, a member of the Barstow Senior Center, Fry's wish came true.  Pace donated the bed and Jeff Eason, director of the Barstow chapter, delivered it to Fry on April 14, 2013.    


Patricia V., 84, Los Angeles, CA

Patricia Vance, an elderly nursing facility resident, had her wish for a shopping trip granted, thanks to the Southern California chapter of Twilight Wish Foundation.  Vance, 84, has many fond memories of shopping with her daughter years ago, but has been unable to do so because it is difficult for her to leave her facility.  Like so many other seniors, Vance lives on a fixed income and has little left at the end of the month for any extras. 

Vance, a mother of two, also raised her grandsons.  She devoted her whole life to her family and was involved in her children’s schools and extra-curricular activities.  Vance also volunteered for her church and felt that she was “too blessed to spend any money on herself.”  Her simple wish for a shopping trip was granted by Crista Sullivan and Kelly Shemonis of the Southern California chapter of Twilight Wish on Saturday, September 22, 2012.  Sullivan and Shemonis treated her to a day of shopping and lunch at a Chinese restaurant.  This is the first wish granted by the newly-formed Southern California chapter.


Phyllis, 88, LaVerne, CA

Phyllis, 88, has several medical issues including a long battle with breast cancer.  Both she and her husband, John, are huge David Archuleta fans.  They love his voice and admire his character and devotion to God.  Phyllis wished to meet David, but because of her health issues, was unable to leave her home.  Despite fighting a cold and leaving the next day for the Philipines, David visited them at their home and sang two songs to them, including Phyllis' favorite: "Ave Maria." Thanks to David and to Sunny Hilden who orchestrated the visit.  A big thanks also to all of David's fans on Twitter who helped grant this wish!


75-Year-Old Former Biker Rides a Harley One More Time…on Father’s Day!

Herman “Max” Dierich, a resident of Creekside  Care and Rehabilitation Center in Stockton, California, had his nostalgic twilight wish to ride on a Harley one more time granted,  thanks to a partnership between Twilight Wish Foundation and SunBridge Healthcare Corporation, operator of the Creekside care center. 

Max, 75, was an avid biker throughout his life and owned his own motorcycle.  His worn leather motorcycle jacket still hangs in his room at Creekside.  Now, confined to a wheelchair and unable to walk, he wished for one last ride on a Harley.  His nostalgic wish came true when he took a ride in a motorcycle sidecar one more time.  Max’s wish is one of nine wishes chosen from more than 200 applications submitted by SunBridge residents from across the country.  The internal campaign inspired by the partnership is called “Wish Upon a Twilight Star” and gives the residents living in SunBridge-operated nursing centers the opportunity to ask for, and in many cases, receive their Twilight Wish.  Eagle’s Nest Harley-Davidson in Lathrop will be giving Max his ride in a motorcycle sidecar, escorted by members of the California Valley Stockton Chapter (CVSC) H.O.G.  Max rode from his nursing home to Eagle’s Nest in Lathrop, riding through the building and service area, giving him a chance to meet employees and check out the Harleys.  Thanks to Rich Kendall, Service Manager at Eagle’s Nest and CVSC for donating their time and making Max’s wish come true!

Max’s wish was the 1,279th wish granted by Twilight Wish since its founding seven years ago.


Dee, 89, El Monte CA

Dee's wish is for a 90th birthday party with her family and friends.  Her daughter wrote to us saying “She never asks for anything but always has given all she could.  She has never had a birthday party.”  Dee thinks a party with her family and friends would make her 90th birthday special. She has suffered two strokes and is losing her eye site. She may not have many more birthdays.


On September 11, 2010, Dee's wish for a party came true. With the help of Twilight Wish, the Los Angeles Lakers, Mobile Taco Man of Los Angeles, A1 Event & Party Rental and Von's supermarket, Dee's daughters were able to make Dee's wish a reality.  The party, including a limousine service for Dee and her family, was attended by more than 100 friends and relatives.