Lucille Bianckino, 76, a resident of Houston, Texas, had her wish to attend an Astros game granted, thanks to the Houston chapter of Twilight Wish. Bianckino has never been to a game in person, but watches every game faithfully at home.
Howard Bartlett, 81, a resident of Saxonburg, Pennsylvania, had his wish to see Willie Nelson in concert granted, thanks to our Butler County chapter. Bartlett is a Vietnam Veteran who served on the USS Intrepid air craft carrier. He grew up in a very musically-oriented family and enjoys listening to music and singing and playing the harmonica. Willie Nelson is his favorite singer and this is likely the last time he will be on tour as he is 90 himself!
Barbara Welsh, a resident of the Reformed Presbyterian Home in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was surprised with a Disney-themed birthday party, thanks to our Allegheny County chapter. Welsh, who turned 74 on August 11, 2023, is beloved by staff and other residents at her skilled nursing facility. She loves all things Disney and visited Disney World with her family in the past. Her health is declining making it impossible for her to travel to Disney again. The staff at her facility nominated Welsh for this surprise party to lift her spirits and celebrate her in a meaningful way. Welsh worked for many years in the environmental services department at Carnegie Mellon University. She currently serves as the resident council president for the skilled nursing unit at the Reformed Presbyterian Home and is also an ambassador for visitors and guests there. As resident council president, Welsh is instrumental in encouraging other residents to participate in the the monthly meetings She also encourages other residents to voice and concerns they have so staff can address them. Welsh successfully advocated ensuring that dietary services and staff were providing the evening snack for the residents. She was surprised with a birthday party that will include a Prince Charming singing telegram, Disney decorations and cake.
Charla Rinkovicz, 92, a resident of Cheswick, Pennsylvania, had her wish for a phone with large buttons granted, thanks to our Allegheny County chapter. Rinkovicz has vision problems and struggles to see her phone. This wish will greatly improve her quality of life.
Barbara Connelly, 85, a resident of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, had her wish for a deep cleaning for her apartment granted, thanks to our Allegheny County chapter. Connelly is physically unable to do a deep house cleaning due to her medical conditions. Because she lives alone and on a fixed income, she could not afford to do it on her own. Connelly volunteered for the Shadyside Hospital Foundation assisting in their office. She was very grateful to have this simple wish granted!
Charles Sabia, 80, a resident of Manchester, Connecticut, had his wish for transportation to his granddaughter’s graduation party granted, thanks to our Connecticut chapter. Sabia is on oxygen 24/7 which makes it difficult for him to travel long distances. They have a very close-knit family, but his illness makes it difficult for them to get together.
Frank Tagliatela, a resident of Orange, Connecticut, had his wish to go to the casino for his 101st birthday granted, thanks to our Connecticut chapter. Tagliatela is a WWII veteran who manned anti-aircraft artillery during the Battle of the Bulge in Belgium. He turned 101 on June 3rd and wished to celebrate by visiting a casino one more time. Tagliatela attends the adult day care program at Clelian Center and was nominated for this wish by the financial director there. He was driven by his sons to the Mohegan Sun Casino where they enjoyed lunch at Tuscany Restaurant and then played some slots.
Roger Whitaker, a resident of Hatfield, Pennsylvania, had his wish to sail on a wind-driven sailing ship one more time granted. Whitaker, 82, enlisted in the Navy at 17 years of age, which is where his love of the sea began. Since then, he has lived and worked at sea all throughout his life. He volunteered for seven years as a restoration shipwright on the light ship “Overfalls” in Lewes, Delaware and for two years as a restoration shipwright on the light ship “Barnegat.” For 12 years, Whitaker was the restoration shipwright and Chief Engineer & Training Officer on the tall ship “Gazela” in Philadelphia. In addition, Whitaker was a volunteer firefighter for 20 years with the Wissahickon Fire Company and also served as a volunteer cook for community Thanksgiving and Christmas meals. His wish to sail one more time and experience the peace of mind and body that he’s always loved on the water, was granted when he boarded the “Gazela,” the same tall ship he worked on for 12 years, to sail the Delaware River on Tuesday, July 18, 2023. This wish would not have been possible without the Gazela and its dedicated volunteers. Thank you also to King Limousine for discounting the cost of transportation for Whitaker.
Barry Greco, a resident of Pompano Beach, Florida, had his wish to “get his smile back”recently granted. A few years ago, Greco was in a major accident which left him reliant on a wheelchair to get around. In addition, he fell and broke several of his teeth. Because of COVID and a compromised immune system, he wasn’t able to go to the dentist for several years. He is very self–conscious about his smile and wished for assistance in getting it back. Prior to his accident, Greco was a Pre-K religious education teacher for several years. Despite his medical issues, he currently volunteers for the Be My Eyes app, assisting the blind virtually. He also plays the keyboard and sings in worship services in his community. Years ago, Greco auditioned and got a role in the Starz show “Magic City” which opened up other opportunities for him to work in film. His most notable success was being featured as “The American Business Man” in the George W. Bush Presidential Museum and Library. A wish granting celebration honoring him for all he has done for others was held at his community on Friday, July 21st. Thank you to Yolanda Cintron, DMD of The International Center for Dental Excellence for her assistance in making this wish come true. Thank you also to Healing Hands of Hope Charities for donating funds toward this wish.
Laura Knight, 83 and a resident of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, had her wish for a lift chair granted. Knight has several medical issues and cannot stand up on her own. She desperately needed a lift chair but could not afford one on her own. Knight was very active in her building on the resident council. She also volunteered with church missions and at a local food bank. She was thrilled to have her wish granted!
Please Note: Twilight Wish Foundation is registered in Pennsylvania as a nonprofit corporation and is a public charity exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Donations made to grant open wishes are tax deductible. Twilight Wish Foundation will make every effort to ensure that donated funds go to the wish of your choice. If this is not possible, we will apply the funds to the most urgent and similar wish open at the time. Twilight Wish Foundation has final decision-making authority over the use of all donations.