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Scarlett with Pluto at Disney World.

Featured Article

A Silver Lining

The Dayton chapter of A Special Wish Foundation celebrates 40 years of wishes granted.

For the past 40 years, the Dayton chapter of A Special Wish Foundation has been granting wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses. “As we celebrate our 40th year, we are proud to say that we have never denied a child a wish due to lack of funding,” relates David Seyer, executive director for the Dayton chapter. 

A Special Wish Dayton has granted more than 1800 wishes to local kids. David joined A Special Wish Dayton in 2011 and over the years has seen firsthand the positive effects that having a wish granted can have on a child and their family. 

“A wish mom once told me that Special Wish was the sunshine in the middle of a tornado and I feel that really sums up the impact A Special Wish has not only on the wish kid but also on the entire family,” says David. “When their wish is granted, most wish kids have the opportunity to put hospital stays and doctor visits behind them, for a week, and just be a kid again.”

A Special Wish Foundation is one of only a few wish-granting organizations in the country that grants wishes for children and adolescents from birth to age 20. Wishes are only limited by the imagination of the wish child and are fulfilled solely with the generous support of the Dayton community. Most wishes are either a special gift like a laptop, playground or even a puppy, a trip to a special place like Walt Disney World, the Super Bowl or the beach, or meeting a hero like a sports figure or celebrity. 

David recalls one wish child meeting President Barack Obama and another meeting Dale Earnhardt Jr. “We provide a silver lining for the family in the middle of immense challenges.  Knowing that A Special Wish can provide a family with memories that will last a lifetime and give the family hope in what sometimes seems like a hopeless situation is very rewarding,” shares David.

Most recently, A Special Wish Dayton was able to grant a wish by sending Scarlett Unrast to Disney World. Diagnosed at the age of one with neuroblastoma, a rare and life-threatening cancer, Scarlett often watched Disney movies during her treatments and she fell in love with the princesses. On her wish trip, Scarlett visited the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique in the Magic Kingdom where children are primped by Fairy Godmother’s Apprentices and transformed into princesses. 

Her mother Lindsey recalls the joy that becoming a princess brought Scarlett, “She was used to not having hair. So, when they put the fake hair on her, she looked and felt like a movie star. If you would’ve seen her face, it was priceless.” The entire family was able to enjoy the trip together. 

A Special Wish is focused on one mission and that is to raise money to grant wishes. “Without the generous support of the entire community, these children would not be able to see their wish come true,” adds David. The best way to support A Special Wish Dayton is through donations or by participating in one of their fundraisers. All funds raised by A Special Wish Dayton stay within the community to grant the wishes of local children who are fighting for their lives.

The first fundraiser of the year is the Dancing with the Dayton Stars fundraiser held March 25 at Wright State University's Nutter Center featuring local community leaders paired with professional dancers for a competition. Following this event is The Superhero Donut Run in May held at Centerville High School. This is a fun family-friendly fundraiser that includes a kids fun run, 5K and 10K options. Superheroes are on site to give high fives at the finish line and Bill’s Donuts are handed out after the race. All proceeds for both events go directly to A Special Wish Dayton. 

For more information on ways to support A Special Wish Dayton, visit their website,

  • Scarlett with Pluto at Disney World.
  • Bailey on the beach at sunset in Maui, Hawaii.
  • Ben in Bar Harbor, Maine.
  • Mayah with Mickey Mouse.