The Times West Virginian

Local News

January 16, 2014

Make-A-Wish volunteer opportunities available

FAIRMONT — The Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia Make-A-Wish Foundation is seeking volunteers to donate their time and friendship to help with wish fulfillment.

Make-A-Wish Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia is a nonprofit organization that grants wishes to children aged 2 1/2 to 18 with life-threatening medical conditions. The local chapter is one of the most active in the country, having fulfilled more than 15,000 wishes.

As members of “wish teams,” Make-A-Wish organizers said volunteers are an important component of fulfilling wishes — working together, the “wish team” meets with the wish child’s family, acts as a liaison between Make-A-Wish staff and the family, and aids in determining the most suitable wish for the child. Volunteers can also help at special events such as golf tournaments and walks.

Elizabeth Snyder, a Fairmont native, has devoted a tremendous amount of time to the Make-A-Wish Foundation and was first inspired to get involved because of a longtime friend.

“I lost a friend, Myles O’Dell, to cancer when I was in high school,” Snyder said. “Before he passed away, I watched him get a wish granted through Make-A-Wish. His wish recreated a happiness he and his mother had lost along his medical battle. It was one of the most inspiring and powerful things I have ever gotten to be a part of.”

Snyder added that granting a wish begins the moment you meet the child.

“When we first meet a wish kid we ask, ‘If you could go anywhere, have anything, be anything or meet anyone, what would it be?’ When they answer that question, a wish is born,” Snyder said.

Through the Make-A-Wish organization and volunteering, Snyder started her own student organization at West Virginia University called Wishmakers on Campus, volunteered at events and worked firsthand with wish kids and families, and interned at Make-A-Wish Greater PA/WV and Make-A-Wish America.

Most recently, Snyder got the chance to be a wish granter through the organization.

“Lauren Yates was my first wish kid, and I am blessed to have gotten assigned her wish,” Snyder said.

She said Yates was fighting bile-duct cancer and wished to go to Walt Disney World and become a Disney Princess with her best friend Bree. However, during her wish granting while at Disney World, Yates became ill and was unable to complete her wish.

“Volunteering for Make-A-Wish is one of the most rewarding experiences you could ever imagine,” Snyder said. “To be a part of recreating a happiness for a child who is up against a life-threatening medical condition is something too great for words.”

She mentioned that being a volunteer creates so much more than accomplishment and gratitude — it gives the feeling of contribution and change.

The next training session to become a Make-A-Wish volunteer will be at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 25, at Oglebay Resort and Conference Center in Wheeling. Attendance at one training session is mandatory for all interested individuals. Training will familiarize prospective volunteers with their duties to Make-A-Wish.

To register for the upcoming training or for more information, call 304-292-5600.

Email Kristen Talerico at or follow her on Twitter @KTalericoTWV.

Text Only
Local News
  • 041814 Fishing 2.jpg Fun, prizes mark annual event at Curtisville Lake

    An annual family fishing event begins at 9:30 a.m. today.
    The Marion County Parks and Recreation Commission and the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources are having the annual Family Fishing Day. The event will take place today at Curtisville Lake, with registration beginning at 9:30 a.m. and prizes being given away at 10:30 a.m.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Police: Shooting of boy accidental

    A boy remains in critical condition after being shot more than a week ago, and police officials are now saying the incident was accidental in nature.
    On Wednesday, April 9, at 7:52 p.m., police were dispatched to a Fairmont residence after an 11-year-old boy sustained a gunshot wound inside the home.

    April 18, 2014

  • FGH oncology to benefit from cleanup

    Proceeds from this year’s town cleanup and recycling in White Hall will go toward comforting local cancer patients.
    During Monday’s council meeting, recorder Charlie Mason said the town will hold its annual cleanup from 7 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 3, at Fabric and Foam in White Hall. He said only White Hall residents may bring their garbage to throw away, but any Marion County resident may bring metal (excluding computers, televisions and tires) to recycle.

    April 18, 2014

  • Pleasant Valley approves phase two of cemetery project

    Pleasant Valley City Council approved phase two of a project to fence in Samuel Linn Cemetery in Benton’s Ferry at the council meeting Tuesday.
    The cemetery was started in 1852, with the death of Samuel Linn.

    April 18, 2014

  • UPDATE: Police say 11-year-old shot in 'accidental discharge of a firearm'

    A boy remains in critical condition after being shot more than a week ago, and police officials are now saying the incident was accidental in nature.

    April 17, 2014

  • Attorney General - CB.jpg Morrisey wants to work with all to ‘help transform West Virginia’

    State Attorney General Patrick Morrisey wants to work with citizens to “help transform West Virginia.”
    Morrisey was the guest speaker for the Marion County Chamber of Commerce’s “Lunch and Learn” event Wednesday at the Mon Power headquarters, located in the I-79 Technology Park in Fairmont. His trip to the Friendly City followed a town hall meeting in Harrison County Tuesday night.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Behind-the-scenes emergency workers honored

    The Marion County Commission is recognizing the individuals who work behind the scenes when an emergency happens.
    During Wednesday’s meeting, commissioners signed a proclamation for National Public Safety Tele-Communicator’s Week in Marion County. The proclamation recognizes individuals working at the Marion County 911 Center.

    April 17, 2014

  • Wallace residents plead guilty to fishing violations

    Two Wallace residents were cited for and pleaded guilty to trout fishing violations.
    Michael Earl Fetty, 70, and Tammy K. Fetty, 46, were issued citations for exceeding possession limit of trout and conspiracy to violate Chapter 20 of the West Virginia State Code.

    April 17, 2014

  • Military Kids 1 - CB.jpg Military children honored for their sacrifices: PHOTOS

    Military children were honored for their sacrifices Tuesday at the Hershel “Woody” Williams Fairmont Armed Forces Reserve Center.
    The event was planned to coincide with Purple Up! Day, a nationwide initiative that encourages everyone to wear purple in honor of military children across the country.

    April 16, 2014 4 Photos

  • Child health: ‘Room for improvement’

    Children living in Marion County are doing better in some respects than children in other counties in the state, according to a national study released Tuesday.
    “The 2013 West Virginia Kids Count Data Book,” published by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, compares states and their counties to each other and to the national average of various areas of child health.

    April 16, 2014

Featured Ads
TWV Video Highlights
NDN Editor's Picks
House Ads