More than 800 supporters of the One Wish Foundation gathered at the Hamburg Field House on May 13 for an evening of entertainment and fundraising for children with life-changing medical or social conditions to experience the outdoors.
Operation One Wish VI had raffles, auctions, a hot dinner buffet and music entertainment, but most of all it brought together a fun-loving crowd who were of a charitable mind to help kids who cannot lead normal daily lives.
One Wish Foundation founder and president Jarrod Renninger, of Fleetwood, who co-hosted the event, told the audience that the foundation wants to give kids a chance to escape from their daily medical issues and to experience the great outdoors.
One Wish Foundation, based in Fleetwood, brings to life the wishes of two children per year. Any activity associated with outdoor recreation, such as hunting, fishing, four-wheeling and rafting, is included.
Videos of the two most recent once-in-a-lifetime adventures, Jocelyn Nocito’s Whitetail deer hunting adventure and Brayden Walsh’s dolphin adventure, were shown.
Walsh wanted to swim with the dolphins and the One Wish Foundation made it happen with a trip to the Florida Keys.
Nocito’s wish was to shoot a deer and the One Wish Foundation made that possible and she actually bagged two deer.
“I thank the One Wish Foundation for everything you did for me,” Nocito said. “I love you guys.”
Michelle Renninger, One Wish Foundation director, who went on both trips, said that she was amazed by the children’s mothers.
“They are advocates for their children,” Renninger told the audience. “They fight for their children everyday. Amazing women. Amazing moms.”
One Wish Foundation operates through donations and a large and growing number of corporate sponsors with all proceeds going entirely to the kids, according to Renninger who thanked many financial contributors throughout the evening, but one non-financial member of the One Wish Foundation family was highlighted for their unique contributions.
Patient AirLift Services (PALS), Farmingdale, NY, provides free air transportation for medical, compassionate and humanitarian needs.
PALS, a non-profit organization, has a network of volunteer pilots who cover the northeast and have gone as far south as South Carolina.
Renninger also thanked the One Wish Foundation staff which is made up of volunteers and receive no compensation.
Nashville’s TJ Bebb provided the music entertainment and was a co-host for the event.
Renninger told the audience that One Wish Foundation continues to march towards its goal of purchasing more than 1,000 acres to build the One Wish Ranch.
The Ranch would consist of log cabins, trails for four-wheeling and horseback riding among other features and it would be available 365 days a year for the children and their families.
On the foundation website, www.onewishfoundation.org, Renninger writes, “The One Wish Foundation started as dream of mine back in October of 2005 after watching an episode of ABC’s Extreme Makeover Home Edition that introduced the Teas Family and their dedication to children with disabilities. After that show, I vowed to my wife and children that if I ever had the means to make it happen I would purchase a large parcel of land and start a camp for children who were sick and/or had disabilities here in Pennsylvania. I came to the realization that I waited long enough and that my lottery ticket would never hit. My passion as an outdoorsman forced me to think of a process that would eventually lead me to that dream. In late 2010, I started the process of building an organization that will help children and their families by granting “ONE WISH” in hopes that they can share in a family memory that will last forever. The One Wish Foundation will allow children and their families a chance to escape from their everyday lives of dealing with their life-altering medical or social condition in order to experience the great outdoors and appreciate all that it provides - One wish, One dream, One Life, One Memory, That lasts forever.... I believe says it all. And one day, just maybe, the OWF Ranch will come into reality so that we can start a year round camp for families who are in need of an escape to the great outdoors.”
Established in 2011, the One Wish Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Fleetwood.
For more information about One Wish Foundation, visit www.onewishfoundation.org.