Thomas Michak, a resident of Pittsburgh, PA, had his wish for a portable air conditioner granted, thanks to our Allegheny County, PA chapter. Michak lives in a senior high rise and is not allowed to have a window unit. Because he is on oxygen 24/7, he needs cool air in order to breathe easier. His wish was granted on December 13, 2019.
Employees from Horsham-based Optum and Twilight Wish, worked together to grant the simple needs wishes of 40 residents at Majestic Oaks Rehabilitation & Nursing Center in Warminster. As part of Optum’s community outreach efforts, employees in their Horsham office helped brighten the holidays for these residents by granting their wishes for simple items such as puzzles, Tastykakes, and knitting needles. Optum employees and Twilight Wish representatives visited Majestic Oaks and distributed the holiday gifts to the residents on Wednesday, December 18, 2019.
Maria Anthou, a resident of McMurray, PA, had her wish to receive an honorary high school diploma granted, thanks to our Washington County, PA chapter. Anthou, 85, emigrated to the United States from Greece when she was a young woman. She and her husband married and raised a family together. Anthou never had the opportunity to complete high school and was also sad about that, given that all her children had post graduate degrees. She felt that receiving an honorary diploma would make her feel complete in her life which was important since she supported all her children in finding their successful paths. She was presented with an honorary diploma during a ceremony at her facility.
Mary Belback, a resident of Walden’s View in North Huntington, Pennsylvania, had her wish for a party to celebrate her 100th birthday granted, thanks to the Westmoreland County chapter. Belback, who turned 100 on November 7th, has very little family that can celebrate this milestone birthday with her. Therefore, the staff at Walden’s View wanted to surprise Belback with a party celebrating this special day! Volunteers from Twilight Wish brought decorations, a cake and several small gifts for Belback.
Mary Massimo, a resident of Crabtree, Pennsylvania, had her wish to visit a casino one more time granted, thanks to the Westmoreland County chapter. Massimo, 87, is in hospice care for heart disease. Because she is in a wheelchair and unable to stand on her own, her family cannot take her to the casino on their own. Visiting casinos was always a “happy place” for Massimo and she very much wanted to go one more time as she feels it would boost her spirits and make her happy. Before her condition worsened, Massimo was able to go on outings all the time with her family. Her wish was granted on November 3, 2019.
Loma Fox, a resident of Scottdale, PA, recently had her wish for hearing aids granted thanks to our Westmoreland County, PA chapter. Fox, 80, needed hearing aids, but couldn’t afford them on her fixed income. Thanks to Beltone who donated the evaluation, fitting and hearing aid, her wish for the gift of hearing was granted.
Gerald Cleland, a resident of Verona, PA, recently had his wish for a new radio/CD player granted, thanks to our Allegheny County, PA chapter. Cleland, 71, lives alone and is housebound. He loves to play his old CDs but his old CD player broke and he could not afford to replace it on his fixed income. His wish was granted on November 7, 2019.
Dr. Martin Luther Mathews, a resident of St. Louis, Missouri, had his wish to travel to Lakewood Church to see Joel Osteen preach granted, thanks to our headquarters chapter. Mathews is a lifelong resident of St. Louis who has spent his years there mentoring and encouraging thousands of youth in the St. Louis Metropolitan area. More than fifty years ago, Matthews and Hubert “Dickey” Ballentine met at a St. Louis city park to talk about how they could help a group of schoolboys compete in a baseball league. In 1960, these two neighborhood coaches founded the Mathews-Dickey Boys’ Club to provide sports, arts, health and educational support to boys in the St. Louis area. Twenty years later, the club began welcoming girls and became the Mathews-Dickey Boys & Girls Club. In 1982, President Ronald Regan recognized the co-founders and declared the club to be a national model for how communities can come together to support the underserved. Today, this 501(c)(3) organization serves 3,000 youth directly and 10,000 indirectly each year and has served more than 2 million youth since inception. Mathews continues to serve as Emeritus President, consulting with the club on a routine basis. Now 94, Mathews had one wish: to visit Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas and meet Pastor Joel Osteen. Thanks to many generous donors, Twilight Wish was able to make this special wish come true for this legendary humanitarian. Thanks also to the DoubleTree Houston Greenway Plaza for donating the rooms for their stay in Houston.
Ruth Jeffries, a resident of Braddock, PA, recently had her wish for a lift chair granted, thanks to our Allegheny County, PA chapter. Jeffries has two bad knees and spinal stenosis leaving her with daily pain and limited mobility. Having her wish for a lift chair granted will greatly improve her quality of life and allow her to remain independent. Jeffries was always involved in the community, serving as an associate minister at her church and providing ministry to prisoners in jail. She also served as President of the tenant council at her apartment complex. Her wish was granted on October 18, 2019.
Betsy Stenhouse, a resident of Harborview Nursing & Rehabilitation in Doylestown, had her wish to be recognized by her former school granted, thanks to our headquarters. Stenhouse, 89, contracted polio when she was a child, which left her disabled. She studied education at West Chester University and began her teaching career in 1952. Stenhouse was the first disabled schoolteacher at the Widener Memorial Industrial Teaching School for Crippled Children in Philadelphia, now known as The Widener Memorial School, teaching there for 27 years.
Stenhouse was very active in her community, starting a support group for others who were also afflicted with polio. In addition, she rescued stray cats near her home and cared for them, spaying and feeding those in need. Stenhouse also worked with local shelters to find homes for those cats in need. To honor her teaching legacy, The Widener Memorial School created an award in her name which was presented to a student at graduation on May 30, 2019. Current principal Harris Gaffin visited Stenhouse at her nursing facility on Friday, October 4th to present her with a certificate recognizing her for her dedication to teaching. In addition, Gaffin brought many old photos and yearbooks to share with her. Twilight Wish staff presented Stenhouse with another certificate, flowers and a cake and cupcakes to share with other residents there.