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A Special Wish Foundation is ready to grant wishes

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — A Special Wish foundation, established in 1982 in Columbus, was introduced to the Ohio Valley in 1994 by John Mattox. He worked to establish a board of directors including Tom Pai, Larry Bandy, Steve Fortunato and Nancy Toto, to name a few, and began granting wishes to children throughout the upper Ohio Valley.

As one of the first wish-granting organizations and the third-largest wish-granting organization in the United States, ASW is the only wish granting organization to grant wishes to children beginning at birth.

ASW grants all types of wishes to qualifying children such as visiting their dream destination, meeting a favorite super hero, going on a shopping spree and more. Wishes are made possible through the financial support of individual and corporate contributions.

ASW is in a league of it’s own when it comes to the local community. ASW is divided into nine chapters. The Upper Ohio Valley Chapter is the largest and serves eight counties including Belmont, Brooke, Hancock, Harrison, Jefferson, Monroe, Marshall and Ohio. All of the funds donated to the Upper Ohio Valley Chapter stays in the Ohio Valley to grant wishes to children. With ASW, immediate family members are included in the wish granting process whenever possible, and 95 percent of the individuals who work for ASW are volunteers.

“The mission of ASW is to enhance the quality of life for children with a life-threatening illness or disorder by granting their special wish,” said Alicia Freeman, executive director for the Ohio Valley Chapter. “We focus on the wish child and we make it our duty to include the entire family in the wish. And it’s wonderful to have so much support from the community.”

Since the organization has come to the Ohio Valley, there have been more than 100 wishes granted. With a new board in place and an executive director at the helm, ASW wants to increase the number of wishes granted in the Ohio Valley.

If you know someone who could benefit from a wish, contact alicia@spwishov.com or call 740-449-2063. All of the proceeds raised for the Ohio Valley Chapter stay in the local market to grant wishes to local qualified individuals. You can get involved with A Special Wish by volunteering, making a donation, making a referral and more.

For information visit www.spwishov.org.

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