Wishing Star Founders – Ed and Karen Kurowski


The Wishing Star Foundation was started by the caring heart of a Spokane first-grade teacher, Karen Kurowski. This amazing teacher experienced a young boy in her class who passed away from brain cancer. The feelings of helplessness stayed with her for many years as she asked herself, what could have been done to add some special quality of life? What she did next was nothing short of exceptional. Karen cashed in her existing 401K, bought tires for her car and went house to house, knocking on doors and soliciting for donations. It was a true grassroots effort to help children and their families facing these challenging life circumstances. In 1983, she and her husband Ed founded The Wishing Star Foundation to grant special wishes to terminally ill children.


“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.”


Over the years Wishing Star Foundation changed “terminally ill” to “life-threatening conditions” which opened the wish program to more children whose lives were in turmoil due to consuming illnesses.


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.