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LocalMake-A-Wish® chapter turns 40

Make-A-Wish Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia will celebrate 40 years of granting wishes to children with critical illnesses on May 5.

Make-A-Wish was founded in 1980 in Phoenix, Ariz. A small group of people helped to make a very ill boy achieve his wish to be a police officer for a day.

Currently, there are 59 chapters in the U.S. and 39 international affiliates.

The local chapter — Make-A-Wish Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia — was founded on May 5, 1983, in Pittsburgh. Its first wish child, Bryan, a 7-year-old with cancer, wanted to visit his favorite uncle in Texas for one of his famous piggy-back rides. Since then, the chapter has fulfilled more than 20,500 wishes.

Make-A-Wish Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia includes 57 counties in western, central and northeastern Pennsylvania and all of West Virginia. The chapter is headquartered in Pittsburgh and has seven regional offices in Erie, Pottsville, Punxsutawney, Scranton and York, Pa., as well as in Charleston and Morgantown in West Virginia.

Make-A-Wish has grown steadily with the help of more than 600 volunteers. Popular wishes include trips to the Walt Disney World Resort, shopping sprees, puppies, play sets and gaming computers.

The local chapter invites the community to honor past and future wishes with a donation of $40 to celebrate 40 years of wish-granting at

Make-A-Wish thanks its partners, donors, volunteers and supporters across its regions for making these past 40 years possible. The foundation looks forward to granting more wishes and inspiring hope for children with critical illnesses in the community for years to come.

For more information, contact Vanessa Zweig, Make-A-Wish regional manager at or 304-292-5600.

Make-A-Wish Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia is a nonprofit organization that creates life-changing wishes for children, aged 2 ½ to 18, with critical illnesses. Currently, the local chapter is one of the most active in the country, having fulfilled more than 20,500 wishes. For more information, call Make-A-Wish at 800-676-9474 or visit