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Wishing Well Fall 2013

Wishing Well Summer/Fall 2013

Making Even More Wishes Come True

Cameron and SeanFor 30 years, our local Make-A-Wish® chapter has been in the business of changing lives, helping kids and their families forget about worries, hospital stays and doctor appointments at a time when they need it the most.

This past year, our chapter granted a record-breaking number of life-altering experiences, fulfilling 717 magical wishes for kids living with life-threatening medical conditions. As of September 1, 2013, we’re serving even more courageous kids and their families. We are pleased to welcome the wish families, volunteers and donors in the 32 counties of the former Make-A-Wish® Northern West Virginia chapter. Our new name is Make-A-Wish® Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

This change allows for more centralized and efficient management throughout West Virginia and will allow us to better reach every eligible child for a wish.

We hope to grant 55 wishes in the next year in northern West Virginia. Chapter-wide, our goal is 762 wishes. Make-A-Wish thanks all of the generous people throughout Pennsylvania and West Virginia who make these wishes possible. Every time you volunteer, make a referral, or give a donation, you’re helping to bring a smile to a very deserving child.

Noah Saddles Up for Cowboy Wish

Diagnosed with medulloblastoma, six-year-old Noah has had quite the battle, but he has fought courageously, just like the cowboys he admires so much in old Westerns like Bonanza, his favorite
show that he watches with his grandfather. Noah wished for horseback riding lessons, but Make-A-Wish wanted to make his day even more memorable by turning him into a bona fide cowboy.

Noah becomes a cowboy

After lunch at Lone Star Steakhouse, Noah arrived by limousine to Oak Hill Farm where he would attend “Cowboy School.” Noah began his training by dressing the part. With a quick change into true western attire, including suede chaps and a red hat, he busted through the swinging doors of the outfitters prop shop, ready for his first lesson with authentic cowboy, Howard Anderson. After a few attempts at roping a cactus, Noah and Howard walked through the stable to meet Noah’s horse. Like a natural, Noah hopped right into the saddle and proudly rode his horse with his signature toothless grin stretching from ear-to-ear.

Noah still has a year of riding lessons to look forward to, but he will never forget his first ride. With a “Cowboy School” graduation certificate in hand, Noah strutted down from the stable to enjoy ice cream, sponsored by Blue Bunny, with his family and friends. With rope and a horse in tow, it seems like Noah, indeed, is set for happy trails.

  • Ride 'em, cowboy!

  • Trail rider Howard Anderson shows Noah how to lasso

He looks so happy. Noah loves the whole cowboy persona, with the chaps and everything. He just loves it. ”

— Noah's mother

Beetle Boy: Then and Now

Fourteen years ago, Michael spent the day as ‘Beetle Boy,’ Pittsburgh’s very own villain-fighting superhero.

Beetle Boy ThenHe explained that the day started out like any other.

“I was watching cartoons like I usually did with my Dad,” Michael said. 

Then all of the sudden, a newscast interrupted Michael’s cartoons. At first, he ignored it, but then Michael heard his very own name being broadcasted, followed by a plea for help: “Pittsburgh needs you!” Dressed in superhero garb within seconds, Beetle Boy was ready to save his hometown and defeat the Green Goblin.

Beetle Boy NowThroughout the day, Beetle Boy continually stopped all of the Green Goblin’s evil efforts. He saved a damsel in distress whom the Goblin had tied to the train tracks at the Zoo, rescued the Pitt Panther at the University of Pittsburgh stadium, and even restored the water supply of the fountain at Point State Park. Before the Goblin had the chance to complete one last act of treachery, Beetle Boy crept behind him and captured him with a net. Pittsburgh was saved and all civilians could finally be at rest! Because of this young superhero’s courageous efforts, Mayor Tom Murphy declared October 19, 1999, as Beetle Boy Day in Pittsburgh.

Now, at age 20, Michael no longer has to worry about the awful antics of the Green Goblin, as he shares his life with his fiancé, Rachel, and works a part-time job. Although Michael is retired from his Beetle Boy days, he still carries on as a modern-day superhero for he continues to fight his medical condition with fortitude and vigor. When looking back upon his day spent saving the Steel City, it still makes Michael feel amazing.

It made me optimistic, very optimistic and showed me that I can do anything and be anyone if I believe I can. ”

— Michael

Two High School Students Make Wishes Happen

On a beautiful summer night at CONSOL Energy Park in Washington, PA, cousins and Peters Township High School students Jeff and Andreo Coury made a difference for nine wish kids and others with a very special and unique graduation project.

During a special Make-A-Wish night, the wish kids were the special guests of the Washington Wild Things and were honored for their “superhuman” qualities of courage, tenacity and persistence. The kids got autographs, a chance to meet the players and be honored on the field before the game. Fans at the game were invited to text a donation in for Make-A-Wish so other kids could have their wishes come true. 

As a result of their efforts and contributions from the Washington Wild Things, Jeff and Andreo presented Make-A-Wish with $5,249.17.  Many thanks to Jeff, Andreo, and the Washington Wild Things for their outstanding support of our wish kids.

  • Cousins

  • Wish kids, Washington Wild Things players and Stella!

  • Cousins Jeff and Andreo Coury present donation to Development Coordinator Andrea Ballas

Friday night is superhero night at the Washington Wild Things. So it’s only fitting that we honor some real superheroes-kids that never give up and never stop fighting. ”

— Washington Wild Things owner Stuart Williams

Wishes Come True


I wish to go to Hawaii!
David, 16, Everett, PA
Brain tumor
I wish to swim with dolphins
Marshall, 7, St. Albans, WV

I wish to go to Walt Disney World® 
Jonathan, 7, Boalsburg, PA
Spinal muscular atrophy

   Wish kid Alivia
I wish to have a hot tub

Blaise, 9, Wellsboro, PA

I wish to go to Walt Disney World®

Taylor, 14, Sinking Spring, PA
Cystic fibrosis




I wish to have a play set (above)
Ben, 3, Dingess, WV, Leukemia

I wish to have a shopping spree (left)
Sidney, 19, Springdale, PA, Myeloid leukemia 

 Abby and Zadorian

I wish to go to Walt Disney World® 
Taevon, 5, Dunmore, PA


Events Make it Happen


 Washington and Jefferson 
Washington and Jefferson College
The Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity of Washington and Jefferson College raised enough for almost two wishes through its Wish Bowl flag football tournament, volleyball tournament and other events.
 D.B. Root & Company D.B. Root & Company
Wish kid Anthony, who was granted his wish to go to Walt Disney World® in 2012, joins Vice President David Hoffman at D.B. Root & Company’s first Golf Outing for Make-A-Wish® at Diamond Run Golf Course in Sewickley, PA.
 Consol Energy CONSOL Energy
Wish kid Cody joins golfers at Cedarbrook Golf Course in Belle Vernon, PA, for the annual CONSOL Energy Golf Outing.
 Finn Chiropractic Finn Chiropractic
Make-A-Wish® mascot Stella! was on hand for the grand opening of Finn Chiropractic Group’s Mars, PA, office and inaugural Carnival of Wishes.


Birthday Kids  Birthday Wishes
Adorable and philanthropic! Lydia, Owen and Mya all turned three years old in June. In lieu of gifts, they asked their friends and family to donate to Make-A-Wish instead. 
Krista's Bike Show  Krista’s Bike Show
Wish kid Lucas posed for a photo with the Best of Show winner at the 14th Annual Krista’s Bike Show in North East, PA.


 South Charleston Mustang Car Show South Charleston Mustang Car Show
Batman and his helpers join DJ Charlie Cooper at the South
Charleston Summerfest Mustang Club Car Show. 


Bikers United for Make-A-Wish  Bikers United For Make-A-Wish
Organizers of the Bikers United for Make-A-Wish 10th Annual Bike Show in Parkersburg, WV, presented Northern West Virginia Regional Manager Leandra Hickman with a donation at Sixpence Pub and Eatery.


 Leap in the Lake Leap in the Lake
The 2013 Leap in the Lake sponsored by the Lake Wynonah Athletic Group (LWAG) was held at the Lake Wynonah Marina in Auburn, PA.


 Jackson's Bar and Grille Jackson’s Bar And Grill
Since 2007, Jackson’s Bar & Grill in Winburne, PA, has supported Make-A-Wish through a Chicken BBQ, motorcycle ride and other events. 
 Brandon Denochick Memorial Race
Brandon Denochick Memorial Run
Punxsutawney Regional Manager Lindsey Herzing accepts a donation from the Denochick family, who held a memorial run at Flatrun Speedway in Morrisdale, PA, in memory of their son and wish kid Brandon. Brandon was granted a wish for a shopping spree in 2012.


Delaney Heller Never Give Up Golf Outing  Never Give Up
Wish kid Delaney joins golfers at the 2nd Annual Delaney Heller Never Give Up Golf Outing, held at the Clinton Country Club in Mill Hall, PA. 
 Moyers Grove Campground motorcycle run Moyers Grove Campground
Long-time supporter Moyer’s Grove Campground & Country RV in Wapwallopen, PA, held a bike run and numerous other events throughout the year to benefit Make-A-Wish.


Texas Roadhouse Armadillo Classic  Texas Roadhouse Armadillo Classic
During the Texas Roadhouse Armadillo Classic at Dauphin Highlands Golf Course, Andy the Armadillo and Christian joined wish kid Sunny and her grandmother. 
 LeAnn Starner Basket Bingo Leann Starner Basket Bingo
Bonnie Ferry and Jaron and LeAnn Starner pose for a photo at the 13th Annual LeAnn Starner Basket Bingo, held at Cedar Lake Campground in Dover, PA.

Home Run for Wishes

In honor of the Pittsburgh Pirates’ playoff run, we’re featuring baseball and softball events held this summer.

Equitable Gas Donation  Equitable Gas 
Wish kid Zachary and his family joined Equitable Gas Vice President of Customer Operations Hank Rettger and Make-A-Wish Manager of Special Events Stephanie Pugliese on the field at PNC Park as Equitable donated $20,025. Equitable Gas donated $15 to Make-A-Wish for every Pirates pitcher-recorded strikeout this year.
 Suddenlink Wish Kid Welcome Back Party Suddenlink Communications
Michael Kelemen and Suddenlink Communications threw a welcome back party for wish kid Phillip at the Appalachian Power Park in Charleston, WV, after he returned from his wish.
 Tudors Biscuit World Day at the Ballpark Tudor’s Biscuit World
Wish kids and their families gave Princeton Rays players high fives as they came out on H.P. Hunnicutt Field, in Princeton, WV, during the Tudor’s Biscuit World Day at the Ballpark for wish kids in June.
 Moms for Make-A-Wish Softball Moms For Make-A-Wish Softball Tournament
The Wild Things Moms for Make-A-Wish Softball Tournament Team accept a donation from the American Legion Post 398 in Frackville, PA, with Make-A-Wish Regional Manager Maggie O’Brien.
 Guns 'n' Hoses Guns ‘N’ Hoses
Wish kid Peyton and his brother join a team of law enforcement from St. Albans, Nitro and the Tiger Morton Juvenile Detention Center at the 2nd Annual Batting for Wishes/Guns ‘N’ Hoses Softball Tournament in Charleston, WV.

Making Wishes Come True in West Virginia

Our goal is to grant the wish of every eligible child. In West Virginia, the West Virginia Oil Marketers & Grocers Association (OMEGA-WV) and Red Bull helped us do that with their August Make-A-Wish® campaigns.


OMEGA wish kidAt the nearly 600 OMEGA-WV member convenience stores, independent grocers and petroleum marketers, “wish stars” were sold for $1. The association also held a golf outing at Stonewall Resort in Roanoke, WV, to benefit Make-A-Wish. This year, OMEGA-WV raised $161,466. OMEGA has collectively raised more than $1.8 million since 2003 for charities that benefit the health and safety of West Virginia children.

Little General General Manager Brian Waugh, OMEGA President
Jan Vineyard and Little General Retail Operations Dustin Darby
OMEGA donation

Red Bull donates to Make-A-WishRed Bull

Red Bull helped to quench your thirst and make wishes come true throughout West Virginia in the month of August. Red Bull donated 20 cents to Make-A-Wish for every 12 oz. can purchased. More than $20,000 was donated to help fulfill wish experiences for local children with life-threatening medical conditions.

May the Wish Be With You

Intergalactic battles. Good vs. Evil. The adventures of Hans Solo, Luke Skywalker and other characters in a land far, far away. Trevin, 7, of Union City, PA, loves Star Wars™ adventures, but unlike other young fans, he was born with cystic fibrosis. In April, at a Waffles and Wishes event at the Ambassador Banquet and Conference Center in Erie, PA, Make-A-Wish® surprised Trevin when it announced he would be granted his wish to attend the new Star Wars™ exhibit in Orlando, FL. The look on Trevin’s face when he found out his wish was going to come true was priceless.

Trevin's wish revealedWhile in Florida, Trevin got to meet Darth Vader, accompanied by his storm troopers, along with Obi-Wan Kenobi, and even a couple of Jawas. He had a private meeting with all of his favorite characters and even learned the proper way to wield a light saber from none other but Darth Vader himself. Trevin and his family also spent several days at Walt Disney World®, where they rode the rides and met even more storybook characters.

For Trevin, a trip to Disney, complete with a visit from his favorite Star Wars characters, was exactly what the doctor ordered. This week allowed Trevin to just be a kid and have the time of his life.

Trevin fights Darth Vader

Season of Wishes

Make wishes come true this holiday season.

Light Up A Child's Life logoLight Up A Child's Life®

Tune into our annual LIGHT UP A CHILD’S LIFE® campaign this holiday season and help give the gift of a wish-come-true to local children with life-threatening medical conditions.

Pittsburgh: WISH 99.7 FM
Radio broadcast and Make-A-Wish TV Webcast,
December 13–14, 16–20 

Erie: STAR 104
Radio broadcast, December 11–15

DuBois: Sunny 106
Radio broadcast, December 9–13, 7 a.m.–4 p.m.

Punxsutawney: WPXZ-FM 104.1 FM
Radio broadcast, December 16–20, 7 a.m.–4 p.m.

St. Marys: The River 98.9 WQKY
Radio broadcast, Friday, December 6, 2–7 p.m.

Parkersburg, WV: 95 WXIL and 103.1 The Bear
Radio broadcast: December 17 and 18

For more information on locations, click here.

Macy's logoMacy's

Give our wish kids a million reasons to believe with the Macy’s Believe campaign. Now through Christmas, you can drop off letters to Santa in the special Santa Mail letterbox at any Macy’s store. For each letter
received, Macy’s will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish®, up to $1 million, to help grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.

Macy drops off a letter to Santa

“Share the Love" This Holiday Season

Subaru Share the LoveDuring the 2013 Subaru “Share the Love” event, Subaru of America, Inc. will donate $250 for each new Subaru vehicle sold or leased between Nov. 21 – Jan. 2, to participating charities, including Make-A-Wish, selected by the purchaser. Please visit to locate a Subaru dealership near you.


The next newsletter will be sent in March 2014, but the donor list on our web site – – is always up-to-date. We extend our deepest appreciation to all of our donors. In the meantime, don’t forget to send us your email address for news and events. We will keep your address private.

Should you discover an error or omission, please call us at (412) 471-9474. Whenever you donate online, please be sure to go through our local chapter’s web site. If you do, we will receive 100% of your donation – less a nominal administration fee. (If you go directly to our national organization’s web site, we will only receive 80%.

View our Current Donor List

Sarah Lockard interviews wish kid Domenic

Want to share your story? Visit the Share Your Story section under the wishes tab on our site, and you can share your Make-A-Wish experience and photos with us! Photos of wishes and events can also be submitted to

Share Your Make-A-Wish Experience Here


Help us save on print and mailing costs by sending us your email address. Make-A-Wish is sending more
newsletters and information electronically.  It is against our policy to sell, rent or share email addresses and donor information.

Please Sign Up for Our Email List

Wheels for Wishes

Wheels for Wishes logo

Looking to avoid the hassle of selling an old car on your own? Turn that car into wishes for special children when you donate to Wheels for Wishes benefiting Make-A-Wish® Greater PA and WV.

Click here to learn more.


We dedicate this newsletter in memory of the following wish kids. Each has touched our lives and hearts.

Amy B.
Amy K.
Amy M.
Michael G.
Tae Lynn
Zachary C.
Zachary H.

Make-A-Wish® Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia, Inc.
The Gulf Tower
707 Grant Street, 37th Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15219-1938
(412) 471-9474
Toll Free (800) 676-9474
Make-A-Wish® Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia, Southern West Virginia Office
888 Oakwood Rd
Oakwood Center, Suite 330
Charleston, WV 25314
(304) 342-9474
Toll Free (800) 664-9474
Make-A-Wish® Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia, Northern West Virginia Office
913 Canyon Road
Morgantown, WV 26508
(304) 292-5600
Toll Free (888) 808-9474