Kauai News

Make-A-Wish Hawai‘i Celebrates 40 Years of Granting Wishes

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Five-year-old wish kid Sarah from Kapolei, Oʻahu, is a spunky, free-spirited child who has loved horses since her first ride at just 2 years old. Make-A-Wish Hawaiʻi granted her wish to be a horse trainer and Sarah and her ‘ohana learned about feeding and riding horses. (Photos courtesy of Make-A-Wish Hawai‘i)

Make-A-Wish Hawai‘i is marking 40 years of granting life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses, and to celebrate the significant milestone, the organization will host free anniversary events every Saturday in August throughout the state, including on the Big Island.

Jack Stanford, founder of Make-A-Wish Hawai‘i, with Albert Ackerman of Hilo, the organization’s first wish kid, 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 granting wishes has to transform lives, engage communities in life-changing moments and give children and their families the hope and strength to fight harder against their critical illness,” Trini Kaopuiki Clark, Make-A-Wish Hawai‘i president and CEO, said in a press release. “The majority of wish kids go on to live 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 granting wishes for another 40 years.”

All of the Make-A-Wish Hawai‘i anniversary events will take place from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and feature live entertainment, keiki activities, prize giveaways and fun for the whole family. The Kauaʻi event is scheduled for Aug. 6 at KuKui Grove Center in Līhuʻe.


For more event details, click here.

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

Since granting its first wish, Make-A-Wish Hawai‘i has grown into one of the busiest chapters in the nation, granting more than 1,500 wishes throughout the state. The organization also has hosted more than 17,000 wishes from mainland chapters.


During the 40th anniversary, the organization is striving to reach its goal of granting 40 more wishes to Hawai‘i keiki from now until the end of the year. Donations are welcome and can be made securely through the Make-A-Wish Hawai‘i website.

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

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