Wishes Can Happen | Nonprofit Spotlight

Wishes have been coming true for 30 years here in Stark County. “When Linda (Lippert) and I founded the organization in 1982 we never dreamed we’d be doing this 30 years later,” exclaimed Cyndi Morrow, executive director of Wishes Can Happen, a nonprofit group that provides wishes to seriously ill children.

Wishes have been coming true for 30 years here in Stark County. “When Linda (Lippert) and I founded the organization in 1982 we never dreamed we’d be doing this 30 years later,” exclaimed Cyndi Morrow, executive director of Wishes Can Happen, a nonprofit group that provides wishes to seriously ill children.

Wishes Can Happen was the first nonprofit organization to be featured in About magazine five years ago. At the time Morrow said, “Our objective is to put a smile on the face of our wish children and create a happy memory for their family.”

Their objective remains firm today.

“We always said our happiest day will be the day we are not needed anymore,” Morrow said. “Even though they have made great progress in medical treatments, we continue to grant 30 to 40 wishes every year to children who have life-threatening illnesses. Our all-volunteer board of directors and wish coordinators dedicate their free time to bringing happiness to special children and lasting memories to their families.”

Wishes have included everything from a baseball field to a golf cart. In the past five years, some of the granted wishes have included a trip to Chicago, a huge birthday party, a senior trip, a trip to Myrtle Beach, an above-ground pool, a spa day, a wooden swing set and an exercise room.

One young man who suffered from a syndrome that caused countless tumors in his body was a self-proclaimed tinkerer with a serious love of music. His wish was to meet guitar maker Carl Thompson in New York City. A young girl got to meet Reba McEntire for her wish, and another young woman got her wish to shop in New York City. While there, she visited the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building and ground zero.

“We are so fortunate to live in a community where people care about each other,” said Morrow. “We could not grant these wishes if it weren’t for the love and compassion of so many people who hold fundraisers and events for us.”

ABOUT WISHES CAN HAPPEN

WHAT: An all-volunteer, nonprofit organization that provides wishes to seriously ill children. Nearly 90 percent of the profits raised during fundraisers go toward making wishes come true.

ELIGIBILITY: Children and young adults ages 2 to 21 who have been diagnosed by a physician as having a life-threatening illness are eligible to be granted a wish. They must not have been granted a wish from any other organization.

BOARD MEMBERS: Geoff Lewis, president; Joe Joseph, vice president; Lisa Reicosky, secretary; Mike Shaheen, treasurer ; Cyndi Morrow, executive director ; Madelyn Sweeney, community relations director ; Erine Bodo, Dave Ferrell, Jeremy Foltz, Frank Forchione, Dennis Kelley, Bob Lung, Lisa Marshall, John Nader, Tom Preston and Heather West.

DONATIONS: Contributions can be merchandise, money or organizing a fundraiser. Send donations to 1310 N. Main St., North Canton, OH 44720.

Where to buy

The Repository
Select Rite Aid Stores
Spee-D Foods
Buehler's Fresh Foods
Fishers Foods, including 44th Street NW, Tuscarawas St. W, Fulton Drive, Lincoln Way E. and Cleveland Ave. NW locations
Aultman Hospital Gift Shop
Mercy Medical Center Gift Shop
Gervasi Vineyard Marketplace
Carpe Diem Coffee Shop, downtown Canton and Belden Village Mall locations
News Depot
Avenue Arts Marketplace
Yum Yum Tree Alliance
Grapes in a Glass