The beginning of Wishing Star Foundation was brought about by a first grade boy. This young boy passed away from brain cancer. The feelings of helplessness stayed with me for many years. What could have been done to add some special quality of life? As the answer, in 1983 my husband, Ed, and I legally set up Wishing Star Foundation to grant special wishes to terminally ill children.
Over the years Wishing Star Foundation changed “terminally ill” to “life-threatening illnesses” which opened the wish program to more children whose lives were in turmoil due to consuming illnesses.
Spokane’s Q-6 TV and radio talk show, hosted by Mike Moran, raised the public’s awareness of Wishing Star Foundation. Another Spokane citizen, Nancy Benthin, a lady generous with her time and energy, did so much to raise funds and awareness too. Through the awareness and efforts of these people, the foundation received its first check, $1,000. I looked at the check and all the zeros, I thought that my eyes were playing tricks on me. This generous gift made it possible for the foundation to start the wish granting process. I have been so grateful for the trust people put in what we were trying to accomplish. We granted two wishes within a couple of weeks of each other. I am grateful to the following people for serving as charter members on the Board of Directors. The first meetings were held at the kitchen table of Karen Huber, of Coeur d’Alene, over cookies and tea. Jeri Hershberger of Spokane, Nancy Barr of Coeur d’Alene, and Ed Kurowski of Coeur d’Alene were the other chartered members. Organizing a new non-profit involved so many steps. Everyone worked very hard! As word got out, calls from people wanting to help were coming in from all over Idaho and Eastern Washington. It was decided that Wishing Star Foundation would develop chapters and a program was created. People came forth from various areas to start chapters that would assist with fundraising and with wishes from their areas. A training program was developed as the first chapters were formed in Moscow/Lewiston area and in Coeur d’Alene by the volunteers of the GTE Telephone Pioneers.
The reward of this work for everyone was the excitement of the families that, just for a moment, there was a fun break in daily routine of hospital life. There will always be change, but the dedication of wonderful, caring people will remain a constant. Ed and I wish to express gratitude to all of the wonderful people through the years that have been a very vital part of the success of Wishing Star Foundation. Everyone is still a part of our memories and conversations. The mantle of continuing the work of Wishing Star Foundation was passed in 1990. Since then, great people have come forward to assist with the work that is required to grant the wishes of so many.
Ed and Karen Kurowski