Make-A-Wish Hawaii celebrates 40 years of making wishes come true

Five-year-old dream child Sarah from Kapolei, O’ahu is a spunky, free-spirited child who has loved horses since her first trail ride when she was just 2 years old. Make-A-Wish Hawaii granted her wish to be a horse trainer, and Sarah and her ‘ohana learned how to feed and ride horses. (Photos courtesy of Make-A-Wish Hawaii)

Make-A-Wish Hawaii is celebrating 40 years of making life-changing wishes come true for children with critical illnesses, and to celebrate this significant milestone, the organization is hosting free anniversary events throughout the state every Saturday in August, including at the Big Island.

Jack Stanford, founder of Make-A-Wish Hawaii, with Albert Ackerman of Hilo, the organization’s first wish child, as his wish to visit Disneyland comes true in 1983.

“Over the past 40 years, Make-A-Wish Hawai’i has seen the power that wish-granting has to transform lives, engage communities in life-changing moments, and give children and their families the hope and strength to fight tougher their criticism to fight disease,” said Trini Kaopuiki Clark, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish Hawaii, in a press release. “The majority of those who wish to have children lead healthy lives and reflect on their wish as a turning point in their recovery journey. With the support of our community, donors, volunteers and our dedicated staff, we look forward to another 40 years of making wishes come true.”

All Make-A-Wish Hawaii Anniversary Events will be held from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm and will feature live entertainment, keiki activities, awards ceremonies and family fun. The Big Island event is scheduled for August 20th at the Queens’ Marketplace in Waikōloa.

For more event details click here.

Make-A-Wish Hawaii was organized and founded on September 15, 1982 by Jack Stanford, a businessman with a passion for community service. Make-A-Wish Hawaii granted its first wish in 1983 to Albert Ackerman, a 10-year-old boy from Hilo who was diagnosed with leukemia and dreamed of visiting Disneyland with his family.

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Since granting the first wish, Make-A-Wish Hawaii has grown into one of the busiest chapters in the nation, granting more than 1,500 wishes statewide. The organization has also received more than 17,000 requests from mainland chapters.

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During the 40th anniversary, the organization is striving to achieve its goal of granting 40 more wishes to Hawaiian keiki by the end of the year. Donations are welcome and can be made securely through the Make-A-Wish Hawaii website.

For more information on Make-A-Wish Hawaii, click here.

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