It’s been a ‘Special’ year!

As the final hours tick away from 2016, we pause to reflect on the year that was.

All of us at A Special Wish Foundation – Dayton (ASW) have plenty to be grateful for and to celebrate. Throughout 2016, ASW granted 42 wishes to local children battling life-threatening disorders.

For the majority of our wish kids and their families, Walt Disney World and the attractions of Central Florida were the most popular destinations. Spending the day with Mickey Mouse or their favorite Disney princess instead of in the hospital or doctor’s office was a welcome relief for the wish kids, and hearing their children laugh again was much needed for the parents.

The mother of one boy named Ian expressed the feelings shared by many of our wish parents by saying, “Seeing the joy on Ian’s face was the best part for me, especially after he had been through so much.”

A Special Wish also experienced two firsts in 2016. ASW granted its first trip to the state of Alaska.

You may recall reading about David and his family who traveled to Homer, Alaska, to spend a week halibut fishing. Not only did the family have the time of their lives, but they were able to bring home “a year’s worth of freshly caught halibut,” and were treated to an aerial view of the state by a local pilot. The people of Homer were wonderful hosts and were generous to AWS and David’s family.

The Disney Magic Cruise Ship was home to the other first in 2016. Through an on-going partnership with Give Kids the World and Walt Disney, ASW was able to add Disney cruises to the many options for wish children to choose from. Trayvon and his family set sail on the Foundation’s maiden cruise leaving for the Port of Miami and cruising for five days to the Bahama’s and the Caribbean.

Other wishes this year included traveling to Hollywood to see the sights and catch some waves in the Pacific Ocean; a state-of-the-art gaming system for a teenager who is homebound during his recovery; a laptop computer for a junior in high school to help with her studies; and a VIP shopping spree for a young man whose wish was for new clothes and shoes.

2016 was a memorable year and to see the smiles on these kid’s faces is something you would never forget. The wish kids served by ASW have been through so much, have battled against all odds and have never given up. For their courage, ASW is honored to be able to make their special wishes come true.

All of us at ASW hope you have enjoyed the articles written about the Foundation and the children we serve.

Since 1983, ASW has been able to grant over 1,600 wishes thanks to the generous and continued support of the local community. As we look ahead to 2017, and the many kids whose wishes will become reality, I ask you to consider joining the extraordinary community willing to support a child battling a life-threatening disorder, and the joy felt when their wishes come true.

To be part of the hope for a healthier future and most of all, to put a smile on the face of a child and let them just be a kid again, if for only a brief moment in time. Please consider making a tax deductible gift to A Special Wish Foundation – Dayton and help us make very special wishes come true for local children throughout 2017. Happy New Year and best wishes!!!