Return to mobile version

Chapter History and Awards

Our History

Make-A-Wish® Mid-Atlantic was founded in 1983 and has granted the wishes of more than 8,800 children with life-threatening medical conditions such as cancer, Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy and heart disease. Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic is affiliated with Make-A-Wish America

1980

  • First wish was granted in Phoenix, AZ, that inspired the creation of Make-A-Wish. Chris wanted to be a policeman for the day.

1983

  • Six friends from Montgomery County, Md. were moved by Chris' story and founded the Dreams Come True Foundation.
  • Original members, now on the board, voted to affiliate with Make-A-Wish America and changed name to Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Greater Washington. 
  • Foundation held its first major fundraiser, a triathlon at the beach which would become an annual Foundation tradition. 
  • Our Make-A-Wish chapter grants its first three wishes. The first wish was granted on June 9, 1983 to a young girl named Jody from Clinton, MD who wanted to visit Ocean City, MD and stay at the Carousel Resort.

1984

  • Chapter fulfilled ten wishes.

1985

  • Chapter moved into donated office space and hired its first part-time staff member.

1990

  • Chapter hired Ralph A. Nappi, Jr. as its executive director. Nappi would lead the Mid-Atlantic chapter for the next 17 years. 

1993

  • Volunteers Bob and Cathy Roman formed the Western Maryland field office to better serve the territory. 

1995

  • Chapter changed its name to Make-A-Wish Foundation of the Mid-Atlantic, Inc. and established Baltimore, Md. and Wilmington, Del. field offices.

1997

  • Chapter granted 303 wishes this fiscal year. 

1998

  • Moved headquarters from Rockville, Md. to Kensington, Md. 

2000

  • Chapter hosted a reception at the United States Capital to celebrate Make-A-Wish   America's 20th anniversary.

2007

  • Nappi retired from his position.
  • Fulfilled 330 wishes this fiscal year and more than 5,500 wishes to date. 

2008

  • Fulfilled 337 wises this fiscal year.
  • Relocated headquarters from Kensington, Md. to Bethesda, Md.

2011

  • Chapter grants a record number of 404 wishes this fiscal year. 
  • Chapter grants 7,000th wish to an eleven-year-old boy named Lane of Goldvein, Va. who wanted a Star Wars bunker in his back yard. 

2012

  • The chapter granted 384 wishes and 61 wish-assists. 
  • 18 of the 384 wishes were RUSH wishes. 
  • 38 of the 384 were international travel wishes (not including cruises). Children visited  Italy, Dubai, Australia, London, Japan, Peru, the Galapagos Islands, Latvia, Costa Rica and many more exciting places around the world.
  • 2 were very special parties! A Sweet Sixteen and a Quinceanera.
  • 190 of the 384 were Disney wishes! 171 – Walt Disney World® Resort, 18 Disney Cruise and 1 adventure to Disneyland®
  • 37 shopping sprees – 222 hours of shopping!!  

Granting a total of 445 wishes would not be possible without our wonderful volunteers, wish ambassadors and interns. A brief glimpse into the world of volunteer services: 

  • More than 450 trained wish granting volunteers worked with our families.  
  • 111 new wish granting volunteers were trained.
  • More than 250 event volunteers supported our internal events.
  • The chapter has more than 100 trained wish ambassadors.
  • More than 50 interns supported the important work of the chapter

2013

  • The chapter granted 364 wishes and 46 wish-assists.
  • 21 of the 364 wishes were RUSH wishes.  
  • 37 of the 364 were international travel wishes (not including cruises). Children visited  China, El Salvador, New Zealand, Australia, Jamaica, Spain, Grand Cayman, Puerto Rico, Peru, Denmark, Italy, South Africa and many more exciting places around the world.
  • 1 was a very special high school graduation party.
  • 2 were very special music studio wishes
  • 179 of the 364 were Disney wishes! 159 – Walt Disney World® Resort, 16 Disney Cruise and 4
  • 31 shopping sprees – 186 hours of shopping!! 
  • adventure to Disneyland®. 
  • A few unforgettable wishes included
    • who can forget our special wish to fly a real flight simulator with the help of our Lockheed Martin friends 
    • Wish to have Quinceanera photos in her beautiful dress
    • Wish to have an action tracker chair
    • Wish to design helicopters
  • More than 346 trained wish-granting volunteers worked with our families
  • 51 new wish granting volunteers were trained
  • More than 337 event volunteers supported our internal events
  • More than 35 interns supported the important work of the chapter

Granting a total of 410 wishes would not be possible without our wonderful volunteers, wish ambassadors and interns.

2014
A few highlights from the past fiscal year...

  • The chapter granted 395 wishes and 45 wish-assists!
  • 25 of the 395 wishes were RUSH wishes.
  • 40 of the 395 were international travel wishes (not including cruises). Children visited  Korea, Swiss Alps, Grand Cayman, Galapagos, Paris, Bora Bora, Vietnam, Atlantis, Italy, New Zealand, Japan Australia, Peru and many more exciting places around the world.
  • TO BE WISHES
    • Train conductor
    • Pop Star
    • Professional basketball player
  • 197 were Disney wishes! 169 – Walt Disney World® Resort, 21 Disney Cruise and 7 adventure to Disneyland®. 
  • 39 shopping sprees – 234 hours of shopping!!  
  • Wish to have my puppy trained
  • A few truly special wishes included
    • 8 computer wishes 
    • 1 tuition wish 
    • 1 motor vehicle customization
    • 1 wish for a custom Fodera guitar
    • 1 wish to feed a baby panda
    • 1 wish to play with robots
    • 1 wish for a tracking system

  • More than 473 trained wish granting volunteers worked with our families
  • 127 new wish granting volunteers were trained
  • More than 370 event volunteers supported our internal events
  • The chapter has more than 54 trained wish ambassadors
  • More than 32 interns supported the important work of the chapter

Granting a total of  440 wishes would not be possible without our wonderful volunteers, wish ambassadors and interns.

  • Walk For Wishes events expanded into 3 new locations including Delaware, Baltimore and Annapolis and returned for the second time to the National Mall in Washington, DC. Overall, the walk program recruited more than 3,000 walkers and raised $336,000 for the chapter.

  • The chapter also held its inaugural Evening of Wishes gala, treating 350 guests to a magical, elegant evening and live wish experience raising nearly half a million dollars.

  • In addition to our local advisory councils, the Mid-Atlantic chapter added two new councils in 2014.  The Young Professionals Council and Women in Wishes (Women’s Leadership Council) work to advocate on behalf of our local chapter, while raising funds to advance our wish pipeline.  Together, these new councils aim to raise $100,000 in 2015.    

2015
A few highlights from the past fiscal year...

  • TO GO WISHES - 27 different countries visited, including: Japan, Turkey, Ireland, Ghana, Costa Rica, Galapagos, South Africa, New Zealand and many more exciting places around the world.
  • TO BE WISHES Professional soccer player, NFL commentator, Washington Wizard basketball player
    • Pop Star
    • Professional basketball player
  • Wishes by the numbers:
    • 4,479,302 miles flown
    • 692 Disney park tickets1 motor vehicle customization
    • 144 hours of shopping
    • 22 sporting events attended
    • 9 room redos
    • 6 play structures

  • More than 516 trained wish granting volunteers worked with our families
  • 157 new wish granting volunteers were trained
  • More than 248 event volunteers supported our internal events
  • The chapter has more than 46 trained wish ambassadors
  • More than 30 interns supported the important work of the chapter

Granting wishes is not possible without our wonderful volunteers, wish ambassadors and interns.

  • Walk For Wishes events returned to Annapolis, Baltimore and DC. A brand new walk was introduced at the Mosaic District in Northern Virginia. Overall, the walk program recruited more than 3,650 walkers.

  • The chapter also held its inaugural Charm City Celebration of Wishes  in Baltimore, during which 250 guests felt the impact of a wish and helped raise more than $240,000.

  • The Kids for Wish Kids and Wishmakers on Campus programs empowered 15 schools to get involved in our mission, and raised more than $60,000.    

2016
A few highlights from the past fiscal year...

  • TO GO WISHES
    • 192 passports purchased
    • 20 countries visited
    • 40 concert tickets issued
    • 24 sporting events attended
  • TO HAVE WISHES
    • 81 hours of shopping
    • 7 play structures
    • 6 room re-dos
    • 5 computers
    • 3 puppies
    • 2 ATVs
    • 1 basketball court
    • 1 braces wish
    • 1 fishing boat
    • 1 golf cart
    • 1 robot
    • 1 tuition wish
    • 1 wheelchair lift
  • Wishes by the numbers:
    • 7,138,524 frequent flier miles used
    • 800+ limo rides
    • 6,494 meals & snacks covered 
    • 382 travel wishes
    • 204 Disney wishes
    • 10 concert wishes
  • 176 new wish-granting volunteers were trained
  • 11 Spanish-speaking volunteers were trained
  • 9 wish-granting volunteer trainings were hosted

Granting wishes is not possible without our wonderful volunteers, wish ambassadors and interns.

  • Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic hosted successful Walk For Wishes events in Baltimore, DC, Annapolis and Northern Virginia.
  • More than $500,000 was raised through the 2016 Evening of Wishes gala.
  • Over 200 external events raised money benefiting Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic.
  • Nearly $170,000 was raised through the Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic Wishmakers On Campus collegiate program.
  • Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic engaged with over 5,000 donors throughout fiscal year 2016. 

“There are some great charities out there, but I believe that Make-A-Wish is unsurpassed in its mission and the tremendous opportunity it provides for people to get intimately involved in its mission. With Make-A-Wish, you are empowered to actually meet wish kids and their families and help grant their wishes...and actually share in the power of a wish. I can't imagine there is a charity out there that gives more back to the volunteer than the magic you feel from bringing hope, strength and joy to a wish child and their family.” ”

— Mike Manatos, Member, Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic Governing Board of Directors

Make-A-Wish® Mid-Atlantic, Inc.
5272 River Road
Suite 700
Bethesda, MD 20816
(301) 962-9474
After Hours Nightline (301) 962-9474
Make-A-Wish® Mid-Atlantic, Inc., Baltimore Field Office
9475 Deereco Road
Deer Park Center, Suite 306
Timonium, MD 21093
(410) 453-9430
(410) 453-9430