Make-A-Wish and UnitedHealthcare Celebrate “World Wish Day” in Hartford

April 29, 2015
  • 1,000 luminaires light up 185 Asylum St. for the Make-A-Wish 35th “World Wish Day” celebration
  • UnitedHealthcare employees across Connecticut participate in two-week Wishes at Work® campaign to help make more wishes come true

Make-A-Wish® executives joined UnitedHealthcare employees to celebrate the 35th anniversary of “World Wish Day” at the company’s 185 Asylum St. offices. UnitedHealthcare donated more than $16,000 to help Make-A-Wish fulfill wishes for children in Connecticut with severe life-threatening medical conditions.

“World Wish Day” honors the anniversary of the first wish ever granted, which was to a 7-year-old boy named Chris who wished to be a police officer. Granting his wish inspired the creation of Make-A-Wish® 35 years ago and sparked a global wish-granting movement.

UnitedHealthcare employees purchased 1,000 luminaires during a two-week Wishes at Work® campaign to support children’s wishes in Connecticut. These candle-lit bags were displayed during the Make-A-Wish “World Wish Day” Hartford celebration. Make-A-Wish also shared a new wish being fulfilled through efforts like UnitedHealthcare’s. Five-year-old Wish Kid Louis recently returned from his Make-A-Wish experience, which was to swim with the dolphins in Florida. Louis’s trip was more than he could have dreamed of, and according to his mother, “words cannot describe the experience this was for all of us.”

“Through our decades-long relationship with UnitedHealth Group, we have been able to fund countless wishes in Connecticut and across the country,” said Maria Arnold, development officer for Make-A-Wish Connecticut. “The success of this statewide luminaires campaign demonstrates that UnitedHealth Group’s employees take our mission to heart and we look forward to joining them again to make more wishes come true.”

Make-A-Wish Connecticut began granting wishes to local children in 1986 and has made more than 2,500 wishes come true over the past 29 years. Wishes inspire imagination and happiness, and enable children to spend precious time with their families. More than 180 wishes were granted in its 2014 fiscal year, and more than 200 wishes will be granted in the coming year.

“These kids have such a resilient spirit that has touched so many of our employees,” said Stephen Farrell, CEO, UnitedHealthcare of New England. “We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with Make-A-Wish Connecticut to make more children’s wishes come true.”

Image from the Make-A-Wish and UnitedHealthcare celebration of World Wish Day in Hartford.[+enlarge]

Pritesh Patel (left) and Wayne Zaleski from UnitedHealthcare place the last of the 1,000 luminaires that lit up 185 Asylum Street in recognition of Make-A-Wish’s World Wish Day. (PHOTO: Digital Creations, Alan Grant)

Image from the Make-A-Wish and UnitedHealthcare celebration of World Wish Day in Hartford.[+enlarge]

Pam Keough, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish Connecticut (middle) and Jim Bedard, chief financial officer of UnitedHealthcare’s Northeast Region (left), present Louis (right), age 5, with a poster made by UnitedHealth Group employees commemorating his Make-A-Wish trip to Florida to swim with dolphins. (PHOTO: Digital Creations, Alan Grant)

About Make-A-Wish Connecticut
The Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Connecticut grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. Wish-come-true experiences can do wonders by providing a much-needed break from lengthy hospital stays and medical treatments. They give back to a child what a serious medical condition can take away the chance to simply enjoy being a kid. Wish Kids often choose something that will inspire happiness and allow them to spend precious time with their families. The Connecticut chapter has made more than 2,500 wishes come true since its inception in 1986. Learn more about Connecticut wishes at, or join Make-A-Wish on Facebook (search Make-A-Wish Connecticut), Twitter (@MakeAWishCT) and Instagram (@MakeAWishCT).

About UnitedHealthcare
UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers, military service members, retirees and their families, and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 850,000 physicians and care professionals, and 6,000 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. UnitedHealthcare is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company. For more information, visit UnitedHealthcare at or follow @myUHC on Twitter.

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