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A Special Wish Foundation names O’Grady new executive director

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — The Ohio Valley Chapter of A Special Wish Foundation named Annmarie O’Grady as its new executive director.

“We feel so fortunate to have Annmarie as our newly appointed executive director,” said Denise Penz, chairwoman of the board for the chapter.

“Her experience with our organization and our wish families as a board member, as well as the established support of our community, will prove to be invaluable in our success. We could not be more excited about our future. Annmarie knows some wishes just cannot wait. She will ensure that they are met with great compassion and enthusiasm, just as our special wish children deserve.”

O’Grady has a great deal of experience with A Special Wish Foundation. Prior to becoming executive director, she spent four years on the board of directors, the most recent two as board president.

“I am so honored to be named the executive director of this amazing organization. It is a true blessing to be able to continue the work of granting wishes to the children of the Ohio Valley who have life-threatening disorders. Whether a child is born with their illness or becomes ill at some stage of their life, the entire family is affected. If we can put a smile on their faces by granting a wish, we are fulfilling our mission,” O’Grady said.

She attributes learning so much about what it takes to be successful in this position to the previous executive director, Alicia Freeman.

“It was a huge honor and a blessing to serve as director of ASW for over four years and follow in the footsteps of the late Dr. John Mattox,” Freeman said. “Working with ASW, a local organization which cares about the children right here in our community, is a very rare opportunity. I’m thrilled that Annmarie will be able to experience this. I believe she is going to do an outstanding job in her new role. Although I’ve stepped down as director to take over the marketing department at Belmont Savings Bank, I’m super excited to continue to be part of the organization as a board member.”

O’Grady was previously the project manager at the University of Akron for the Ohio Valley region. In this role, she worked with area high schools and their students in the College Credit Plus program, as well as managing UA’s Surveying and Mapping bachelor’s degree program, where students could take Akron courses on the campus of Belmont College. She also spent six years with Belmont College as the tech prep coordinator, working with high school students in career-technical education.

A Special Wish Foundation is the only wish granting organization that will grant wishes from birth to the age of 21. 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 more information, call 740-449-2063 or email aogrady@spwishov.com. The Ohio Valley Chapter serves the areas of Belmont, Brooke, Hancock, Harrison, Jefferson, Marshall, Monroe, and Ohio Counties and is one of eight chapters.

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