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A Salute to Our Special Volunteers

Wish granter Sandi Worona and husband Jay.
For National Volunteer Week April 7-13, Make-A-Wish Northeast New York recognized wish granters and other volunteers with awards for their invaluable role in fulfilling the Chapter’s vision of granting wishes to every eligible child in its 15-county region covering the 518 and 838 area codes.

“Without volunteers such as these men and women, there are no wishes. There is no Make-A-Wish,” said William C. Trigg, III, CEO of Make-A-Wish Northeast New York. “It is only through their dedication and time that Make-A-Wish Northeast New York can grant wishes to children battling critical illnesses. And the individuals we are recognizing with awards stand out in their efforts to assist the Chapter and Wish Families fulfill that mission.”

Meet these outstanding volunteers:


Above and Beyond Award: Renee Elsinger, Loretta Cappiello and Diane Duquette-Burl

"The Ladies of the North."

Collectively, they are known as “The Ladies of the North,” a core group of wish granters who also volunteer for efforts large and small in the North Country region of our chapter centered in and around Plattsburgh. Whether it be individual wishes or helping at events, Renee, Loretta and Diane can always be counted on to lend their individual and group talents in the northern sector of our Chapter.

Wish Star Award: Leah Slocum

Leah Slocum

The concert/festival PEAKFest is an event of growing importance on the fall calendar in Saratoga County, thanks to the efforts of Leah, who is also a wish granter and a member of the Make-A-Wish Northeast New York Board of Trustees.

Wish Team Award: John and Judi Melby

Over the years John and Judi Melby have worked on 20 wishes together, making them a true wish super couple! During one of their most recent wishes, they may not have known much about YouTube gamers, but still crafted a wish for Sammy to meet Cizzorz of FazeClan that proved memorable. The couple says wish granting filled a void in their lives after retirement, but it is John and Judi who make Make-A-Wish complete.

Rising Star Award: James Cole

James Cole

Even though every wish is unique in its own right, James is always up for a new challenge to test his wish capabilities. In addition to helping grant wishes, James is reliably willing to lend a helping hand, whether it’s counting letters to Santa as part of the Macy’s Believe campaign or helping out with logistical issues at the Gala. James has proven to be an invaluable newer asset to the Chapter.

Wish Champion Award: Sandi Worona

Wish granter Sandi Worona and husband Jay.

Whenever there is a wish to be granted, difficult or not, Sandi is on it. When there is an event table to be staffed -- or any job that needs to be done -- Sandi is on it. A Wish mom, Sandi epitomizes the strong bond between Wish Families and Make-A-Wish Northeast New York that lasts long after a wish has been granted.



Apr 12, 2019

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Make-A-Wish® Northeast New York
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